Minimalism: Peace and Happiness

What is “Minimalism”? Why do young people pursue this lifestyle? Is “Minimalism” as magical as people often say? Or is “Minimalism” a fix for all problems, the way people make it out to be?

Minimalism: Peace and Happiness
Hong Anh (Hab) is studying Business Administration at the College of Business & Management, VinUniversity (Class of '25). She is in love with pink and magical unicorns as they always bring her joy and positive vibes. That's also what she wants to deliver to everyone: happiness.

Before we start, let’s find a relaxed place, sit down and listen to this piece of music while reading.

🎧 Relaxing Music (Meditation - Monoman)

It was a Sunday morning in the typical crispy weather of Hanoi's autumn. Having curled up in a warm and soft blanket, I rewarded myself with a peaceful rest after a busy week full of deadlines, ideas, projects, and relationships. While I was grabbing the phone to turn on a chill morning playlist, YouTube suddenly recommended a video named "A minimalist's Morning routine" by The Hanoi Chamomile. It is worth noting that this video was posted 2 years ago but only now has it become viral and appeared on my feed. At that time, I realized that "Minimalism" has recently become a popular lifestyle amongst young people. But what is “Minimalism”? Why do young people pursue this lifestyle? Is “Minimalism” as magical as people often say? Or is “Minimalism” a fix for all problems, the way people make it out to be?

A minimalist bedroom on a crispy Sunday. Source: Julia Quinn

What is Minimalism?

When it comes to minimalism, I believe many people will picture an empty room with little furniture all in neutral colors such as: white, grey and black. However, material abandonment only reflects a very small part of this lifestyle. (Nam Anh, 2019)

Minimalism is an abstract concept and there are many ways to define it. From my perspective, minimalism is simply "simplifying" life. It begins with removing futile belongings around us to create a neat, organized, and airy space. Then, get rid of things that are unnecessary and unimportant to us, things that no longer bring us joy and meaning in life. They can be redundant habits, useless sources of information, or toxic relationships that make us overwhelmed. Last but not least, freeing your mind and soul is the most important "step" in minimalism for you to truly feel the beauty of life.

A minimal corner. Source: The Hanoi Chamomile

Why do young people pursue Minimalism?

Living in a hustle and bustle world, there are so many things that keep us busy, from money to reputation, and relationships. They take most of our time, including the time we spend on ourselves. As the young generation nowadays tend to get tangled up in invisible pressures and wasteful spending, they may want to find a simpler and more peaceful lifestyle to improve their quality of life. And that's where Minimalism comes into play.

When you escape from "materialism" - material dependence, from the preoccupations of a hectic life, you may have more time and energy to focus more on yourself, your emotions, your inner child, and your own happiness. This is the premise for understanding yourself and living a happy life.

How does Minimalism help us to find peace and happiness in life?

Alleviate the weight of the world on your shoulders

Imagine, you are a small balloon, and your destination is the blue sky above there. But before you go, you prepared a lot of things to take with you: from childhood items you don't want to throw away, to dozens of stylish clothes and hundreds of other favorite items such as teddy bears, phone cases, or game consoles. Along the way, you meet and make new friends, you find your soulmates, but also many other toxic relationships that tire you out. You have accumulated a lot of joy, but also negative thoughts, stress, and anxiety about the future. And just like that you, the balloon, soon feels heavier as you are carrying so many things on your shoulder. From time to time, the burdens and expectations that you put on yourself drag you down, make you lose motivation, energy, and strength to reach for the blue sky out there.

The truth is, no one forbids you to bring heaps of clothes. No one forbids you to get to know a lot of people. No one forbids you to feel sad or to prepare for the future. But think again, how many times have you worn the clothes you brought, or do they still remain untouched? Out of those friends, do you really want to spend all your time with each of them, or just the ones who are really important to you? And do you really need to worry about the future when you are not living well at the moment?

With so much distraction around us these days, minimalism helps us disconnect from all these hindrances, live slower, open our hearts, and refresh our minds. Thus, feelings of peace and happiness will come to our life.

Free flying balloons. Source: Pinterest

Enjoy the moment & the little things

Minimalism teaches us to appreciate what we already have, be more satisfied with our life and find joy in the smallest and simplest things.

When the time comes, you may realize how grateful you are and how much you love this life, even the smallest things. You might feel a profound glee upon waking up one minute before the alarm. You might love gentle breezes through your hair on a windy day, the sound of rustling leaves, and the murmuring water. Perhaps, you may find the sound of people whispering in the crowded street precious. You may enjoy the moments that seem ordinary but are actually very important to you, like having meals with your parents every day and then having secret conversations with your close friends at midnight.

Life is the moment we are living right now, so try to cherish every moment every day.

Enjoy daily moments with a lazy cat. Source: Pinterest

“It’s a new beginning!”

When you are not dependent on materialism, stop comparing yourself with others, you will understand that the value of life does not depend entirely on money or other people's evaluations but on the way you live, and the way you enjoy life. When you no longer chase the hustle and bustle of life out there, no longer worry about trivial material things, you will have more time to spend with yourself, do the things you love and truly live for yourself.

The minimalist lifestyle is a new beginning for you to learn to love yourself, learn to feel life, and live a meaningful life of your own.

Let’s Declutter Our Life

After understanding minimalism and its benefits, let's try to explore this lifestyle and feel it. You can start living more minimally from anywhere but I suggest you start with your closest. Maybe, clean up your phone first which contains tons of screenshots and do-not-look-back photos; clean up storage, uninstall unessential apps and redesign your homescreen for a more organized layout. Then, clean up your workspace from distracted items until there is just a laptop/ a notebook and a cup of water for work because the more ventilated space, the more effective your work. After that, clean up your calendar, just do the prioritized tasks and remember to have time for self-love… Until now, you may feel a little minimalism around you, right? Minimalism is an interesting and valuable lifestyle, so keep continuing to discover it by yourself and feel the peace and happiness that it brings to your life.


If you enjoy this minimalist lifestyle, I would love to share with you some interesting and useful resources to have more sense about it:

  1. Book: Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism (Sasaki Fumio)
  2. Book: Một cuốn sách về Chủ nghĩa Tối giản (Chi Nguyen) – Vietnamese only
  3. Youtube: The Hanoi Chamomile
  4. Youtube: The Present Writer
  5. Film: Soul (Disney Pixar) - A movie that reminds us that, sometimes, the small and simple everyday moments are the most precious.

In the end, I just want you to know that you don't have to be an extreme “minimalist”, nor do you need to set up a model lifestyle to pursue. You just need to let go of things that are no longer needed, learn to love yourself, learn to live a simple and meaningful life. Let yourself fly freely like birds in the sky, like innocent balloons without any sorrow, so that your soul is peaceful and happy.

Don't try to be happy, but feel happiness!