Today, you will learn everything you need to know about how to want less and be okay with not always wanting more.
As human beings, it’s completely normal to want more.
We all have desires and that’s perfectly fine.
There is nothing wrong with that.
But to have a fulfilling and satisfying life, we should all try to find the right balance.
We should have the right mindset so we can live without depriving ourselves while also not having our desires consume us (or our bank accounts).
In this article, I share with you my best tips on how to want less and be happy about it!
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Why do we always want something more?
In today’s world, society has normalized wanting more, striving for more, and seeking more.
It has even made it desirable, as if something was wrong if we didn’t want more.
We are told that we should be ambitious and try to “improve” our lives by wanting more and buying more things.
How many times have we seen ads telling us our skin will look better if we buy that skincare product?!
Or that we’ll be able to take better pictures with that latest phone?!
Wanting more is also seen as good for the economy.
But is it good for us?
We also often end up comparing ourselves to others, thinking that the grass is always greener on the other side.
As a result, we want more because we think having more will make us happier, or at least, less dissatisfied.
We may also feel the urge to acquire more things because we fear that our needs won’t be met in the future.
So we may want more now to protect our future selves and ensure we and our loved ones have everything we need.
But the reality is that most of us have taken our wants too far.
And we need to change that.
Why is wanting less better than always wanting more?
One of my favorite quotes about simple living is:
“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” – Epictetus
When we want less, we believe we have enough in life.
We don’t feel as if something is lacking all the time.
As a result, we are happier and more content with what we have and how we live.
Wanting less leads to satisfaction, and that’s what makes minimalism so life-changing!
When we want less, we also buy less stuff.
Thus, we automatically end up living with less.
We have a simplified home where there is less clutter and mess.
Wanting less means we waste less time shopping and buying things.
Indeed, when we buy less, we don’t create more waste and contribute to the demand to produce new things.
There are countless other benefits you can reap by wanting less and becoming a more conscious consumer!
How to want less and be happy about it?
1. Get clear about what is important to you
Oftentimes, we end up wanting more because we don’t really know what we want out of life.
We are dissatisfied, so we end up wanting things we don’t have.
We try to fill a void by wanting more physical items, more money, more friends, and more love.
To avoid that, it’s important to get clear about what we value in life, what is important and what is not.
Your spouse and kids?
If you value time with family, you will cherish every moment spent with them more and will want less meaningless, superfluous stuff.
2. Understand your triggers
To be able to control our desires, we need to understand what triggers them in the first place.
Do you feel the need to have more when you are bored?
Or is it every time you think your life isn’t good enough?
Many of us also want more because we fall into the comparison trap.
We see what others have (nice stuff, a good career, a loving partner, lovely kids) and compare our lives to theirs.
It often leads us to try and keep up with the Joneses, which urges us to buy stuff we don’t need just to fit in.
Some of us also have a scarcity mindset that makes us think what we have isn’t enough.
As a result, we constantly feel the need to buy more, just in case.
We can be triggered to want more by a variety of things.
But realizing it and understanding those triggers is a step forward to start to want less.
3. Decrease your exposure to temptations to want less
To want less, you have to decrease your exposure to temptations.
It can be hard to do it, but it is a necessary step you need to take.
For instance, you might need to intentionally stay away from the mall.
Delete certain social media apps that make you want to buy things.
Unfollow influencers who encourage you to buy certain products, and don’t go shopping with friends who like buying things just for the sake of it.
By decreasing your exposure to temptations, you will slowly realize that you want less and less, and you’ll be happy about it.
4. Declutter your home
When we have too much stuff in our home, we often struggle to find what we’re looking for or we forget that we already own certain things.
As a result, we want to buy more things.
On the other hand, when we have less inventory at home, we know everything we have and where everything is.
Since our needs are met and we have enough, we are less tempted to go and buy a bunch of things.
That’s why decluttering is so important if you’d like to want less.
When you go through your belongings and see how much you already own, you start to understand how much excess and abundance there is in your home.
You may realize that you’ve wasted a ton of money on things you don’t want anymore.
It can be a real eye-opener!
For instance, if you’ve just decluttered ten pairs of shoes from your closet, you are less likely to go and buy new ones.
You probably want to keep your closet clutter-free for as long as possible!
- How to declutter fast?
- 50 helpful questions to ask yourself when decluttering your home
- 8 common mistakes to avoid when decluttering
- 9 tips to get out of a decluttering rut
5. Practice gratitude daily to want less
One of the most impactful strategies you can follow to learn how to want less is to practice gratitude as often as you can.
Write in your journal ten things you are grateful for every day.
Not practicing gratitude on a regular basis can make us feel discontent with our lives.
We risk feeling as if something is lacking or as if what we have is not enough.
But when we regularly think about the good things in our lives, we stop always wanting more.
We are content and want less because less is enough for us.
A great way to practice gratitude is to consciously pay attention to the simple joys in life.
Notice life’s little pleasures that make it so enjoyable and magical.
Take some time each day to think about what you are grateful for and how amazing your life is, despite all your problems and worries.
6. Learn to let go of toxic thoughts
I know it is easier said than done.
But make the decision to let go of comparison and the need to impress others.
Stop caring about what they think, and you will immediately feel happier.
You will also be less tempted to buy things and will automatically start wanting less.
Another thing you should let go of is your fantasy self.
Sometimes, we have an image in our minds of the person we want to be or think we are when in reality, we are not them at all.
As a result, we want more and buy things for that imaginary person.
So let go of your fantasy self to want less.
Finally, don’t believe ads and people making you think you aren’t complete or whole just as you are.
You don’t need a product or a physical item to be “better” or more worthy.
7. Wait before buying things to want less
When we want to purchase things, we sometimes act out of impulse.
We don’t think it through and end up acquiring things we don’t really want.
So have a wishlist and write down anything you’re thinking about buying.
Revisit it after a week, or even better, a month, and see if you still want the item.
Ask yourself some specific questions, such as:
- How often will I use it?
- Will I appreciate it six months from now?
- Will I regret buying this?
Every time I do that, I almost always realize after a few days that I don’t actually want to have it.
The desire to buy something usually decreases significantly after some time.
We see things from a different perspective and have the time to think about our needs and wants.
We might even see the possible flaws of the item, or realize that we already have something similar at home.
And when that happens, we are happy that we refrained from buying it!
8. Know that you can appreciate something without wanting it
Many people think that if we like something, we have to want it in our lives.
But the truth is, we don’t.
We can admire and appreciate something, without wanting to buy and own it.
For instance, you can enjoy the beauty of a nice, handmade ceramic cup at the store without buying it.
Look at it, admire it, and appreciate the hard work it took to make it.
But that’s it.
You don’t have to own it.
Shifting your mindset around this idea will help you want less and simplify your life!
9. Have fun experiences and hobbies to want less
As mentioned earlier, we often want more because we might feel bored or discontent in life.
So try to fill your free time with exciting, fun activities and hobbies you genuinely love.
Experience new things you’ve been wanting to try for a while and appreciate being new at something.
In general, shift your focus from material things to more intangible things that will bring you fulfillment in life.
Having fulfilling hobbies and activities will help you be content and satisfied with your daily life.
This will drastically reduce your need to fill a void by wanting more stuff and buying useless things.
Final thoughts on how to want less and be happy about it
I hope you’ve found these 9 simple tips on how to want less helpful!
Wanting less and being content in life is so important if we want to live a life we love.
Thankfully, there are some easy things we can implement in our lives to break this cycle of always wanting more.
To finally be satisfied with what we have.
What are your best tips on how to want less and be happy about it?
Please share them in the comment section!
Don’t forget to share this article with your friends to help them learn how to want less and reap all the benefits that come with it.