Minimalist lifestyle: The value in the small things

The minimalist lifestyle has quickly become a trend in Western society in the health & wellness, environmentalist, and design spaces. Considered to be a rejection of possessions and excess, and a focus on purposefulness, simplicity, and gratitude, there are many different ways to live a minimalist lifestyle and embrace a minimalist philosophy.

What does it mean to be a minimalist?

The idea behind a minimalist lifestyle is to shift one’s focus from possessions to experiences, or living in the moment. A minimalist lifestyle is about finding purpose and being grateful for the intangible things, as opposed to physical objects. Many believe this to mean throwing away all things, but that’s not exactly the case. Think of the popular Netflix original show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, which is about embracing a minimalist lifestyle. Based on the book of the same name, Kondo tries to teach viewers that minimalism is not about going without, but about embracing less. One of Kondo’s key phrases or mantras is to “spark joy.” If something is not useful, and does not make you happy, there is no need to keep it. In that simple phrase is a powerful idea of appreciation. By tidying up and clearing out the items that serve no value, you can appreciate the ones that you have. 

Another way to look at it is the Swedish philosophy of lagom, a word that can be translated and understood to mean "just the right amount," "in balance" or "in perfect-simple." Lagom is about living a balanced, slowed-down life, and aspiring minimalists can borrow from this. It’s about clearing out the clutter to make room for what’s important – both mentally and physically.

The benefits of minimalism

A minimalist lifestyle usually focuses on the small things, in both aesthetic and philosophy. The stereotypical version of a minimalist room, for example, draws attention to the sparse accessories in the room — a singular succulent, one or two graphic prints on the wall, maybe a few books. But it is more about maintaining a space that is free from clutter, distractions, and brings a sense of peacefulness or calmness to the person occupying it. The physical benefits of minimalism have many positive mental benefits. Less clutter equals more space, which tends to lend itself towards reflection. Less clutter also means less distraction and more focus on the task or objective at hand, which can lead to a sense of accomplishment. This appreciation and mindfulness of a minimalist space can also lead to less anxiety, more fulfillment and an overall happier sense of being.

Appreciation through minimalism

When living a minimalist lifestyle, less means more, in that you have more opportunity, more ability to live simply and have a greater appreciation for your surroundings. This component of a minimalist lifestyle, of appreciating the small things, is core to AIRE Ancient Bath’s philosophy and treatments. AIRE spaces are dedicated to the relaxation of the body and mind, to be fully present in the bath area or during the treatment. Being able to fully relax in your settings means that you can take notice of, and be grateful for, the ingredients of the treatment at hand or the surroundings of the spa room you are in. Many of our rituals and experiences rely upon one ingredient to deliver a fully immersive and beneficial treatment. It’s these little details of AIRE Ancient Bath treatments that mimic minimalist sensibilities and help to instill relaxation and appreciation during a spa visit.
A minimalist lifestyle, lastly, is a matter of mindset. It allows you to be present and live in the moment. Nature and minimalism usually go hand-in-hand in this regard, because nature and scenery usually force us to slow down and appreciate our surroundings. The Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, is about connecting our senses with nature and practicing mindfulness with nature, via walking through a forest. While not a forest, our rooftop in AIRE Ancient Bath's Seville allows you to soak in the thermal waters of the infinity pool while overlooking the Cathedral of Giralda. Accessible from morning to night, the view of the city under the horizon is breathtaking, especially at sunset. You can be present and in the moment as you relax on the roof, with a glass of wine or cheese, and enjoy the surrounding landscape and beauty of the city.