Introverts need minimalism, but before we get to why, what is your minimalism “style”? People interpret minimalism in different ways.
Some view it as form vs. function. Keep some things, but only the things that are functional. It can also be beautiful, but first and foremost, it must be useful. Others find minimalism to be a balance of having a certain number of things. For some, it creating a life you can simply walk away from. Minimalism can also mean, for each item you purchase, you must get rid of another, so as not to over accumulate items you don’t need.
Still, others, like me, use it as a way to simply declutter. I keep what makes me happy and get rid of the rest. You can call me materialistic if you like, but I’m more of a “sentimentalist”, to a certain degree.
I want my environment to reflect me, so I fill it with things that are meaningful to me, like artwork, handmade items, and the plant my grandmother had in her home before she passed. I love family photos, and although most are digital now, I just can’t bear to throw away the paper versions. There’s just something about the faded colors and worn edges that I love.
Introverts Need Minimalism
I’m an introvert, who finally embraced minimalism after years of thinking about it, but never committing. The idea of actually doing it felt pretty overwhelming, as we had collected an insurmountable number of things over the years, with two kids and three pets.
As an introvert and HSP (highly sensitive person), my surroundings can have a dramatic affect on me, good or bad. I can get overstimulated and distracted by my environment rather quickly, but I can also feel immediately calm in a serene environment, like most people.
The outdoors makes me feel good, trees especially, and open spaces feel amazing, but clutter, chaos, or over-crowding does not.
Not even a little bit.
Many introverts, especially J types, feel the need to organize. This likely includes their immediate environment, but may also dictate making lists, reminders, itineraries, and planning for the future (vacations, retirement, etc.).
I’ll be honest here. I even organize my books by height.
Where did it all come from?
Gifts, things passed down, old clothes, broken equipment, old cameras, Christmas storage boxes (so many Christmas boxes!). It starts to feel stifling after a while.
If you’ve ever cleaned out your closet, getting rid of a large portion of clothing (worn out, too big, too small, too boring, too ugly), then you known how great it feels when you’re done. I feel better, lighter somehow…free.
FREE from feeling drained, chaotic, indecisive, distracted, unfocused, and freedom from any clutter occupying your physical and mental space.
Potential Benefits of Minimalism
MORE SPACE: Every introvert needs their space. A sanctuary to recharge themselves, and it just can’t be successfully done in the corner of a cluttered room. Sanctuary dictates a refuge; a safe space, something to treasure.
Honestly, introverts need minimalism, specifically, for this reason. Space. You will find it empowering and serene at the same time.
When your space opens up for you, you’ll feel like you can breathe again.
FOCUS and PRODUCTIVITY: What if there were less distractions in your environment? This would allow us to focus on what’s important, whether it’s a thought or a task, and without being constantly confronted with distraction after distraction in your peripheral to process or think about.
As introverts and/or highly sensitive people, we are easily distracted and can run off course when external stimuli becomes too much. This can be a trigger for most of us, so when it’s cut back, focus becomes more accessible.
MINDFULNESS: As an INFJ, it’s in my nature to spend way more time in the future than I do in the present, but I’m working on this daily. It isn’t easy. We are always looking forward, needing to predict and prepare.
I recently saw this manifest differently in the way I think about my things. I have a tendency to save things and put them away for “someday”, “special occasions” or just a general reason like “we might need this later”, but I’ve come to realize there is no later.
They either get used or they go.
JOY and HAPPINESS: Getting rid of stuff that doesn’t “spark joy” leaves the items that do. For me, this is profound, and changes the way I feel almost instantly. It allows me to enter a room that’s both inviting and comforting.
Being a highly sensitive introvert means that I can have some pretty strong emotions associated with inanimate objects, like artwork, or a photo because they connect me to something much bigger – family, memories, and a sense of appreciation.
These are the things I want to surround myself with at all times.
This “attention” to the joyous things I love naturally breeds positive emotion, which can lead to more energy and even happiness.
TIME and MONEY: You’ll inadvertently save money because you won’t be constantly buying things for the sake of buying them, nor will you making purchases just because you want them. Want transforms into need, love and function.
And, less stuff means less to maintain and clean, which gives you more time, and aren’t we always complaining that there aren’t enough hours in the day?
CALM and SERENITY: Having a simple, but lovely, external environment can help manifest a calmer, more serene internal environment. Removing the clutter can feel a lot like removing the stress, and a brain with less stress is a much calmer one.
Introverts are big overthinkers, and that can become a stressor in it’s own right, affecting our mindset in a negative way. With minimalism, finding peace of mind will become a little bit easier. You might even find your level of patience increasing, and it could even trigger some creative inspiration.
ORDER and HARMONY: Everything will have it’s place, wherever you decide that is.
Keeping everything in it’s place could prove to be difficult, at first, but if you’re a J-type introvert, it should be easy, because it’s already built into your DNA. It’s the spouses and kids we have to be concerned with, right?
Don’t worry, you can let things “slide” now and again, but not too much.
ENERGY and PASSION: It’s hard to feel sad or run down in the wide open space of joyous things you’ve created. Instead, you might feel a sudden pulse of energy, creativity, or productivity that, seemingly, comes out of nowhere.
This is because HSPs, especially, but also introverts, thrive when they’re environment isn’t overstimulating them in negative ways. Correcting the environment reignites the flame inside that inspires you to do the things you enjoy.
This could be making or cooking something special, going out for a run or hike with the family, or you may just have set your mind free and the big ideas start coming to you, unexpectedly.
Embracing a Simpler Life
Embracing what minimalism can do for you is really about embracing and accepting simplicity in your life, which is something introverts naturally crave.
I’m so glad I took it on. It has changed everything for me.
There are so many ways minimalism can benefit our lives, even if we only use it in our immediate surroundings. There really are no downsides, so just imagine how minimalism could be used in other areas of your life.
Some ideas that immediately come to mind are overhauling your hobby interests (maybe focus on one at a time – this is something I desperately need), minimalizing the social calendar, health regimen, email subscriptions, diet, and skin routine (this is also a bit out of control, lol).
Take out the bad habits, keep and add to the good ones!