Would you consider yourself happy?
If you feel that you could be happier as a person, then there is potentially a simple way to change this, and that’s by putting less value in items and more value in experiences.
When it comes to payday, it’s highly likely that you become more active with your card than you should do, because you’ve got some instant gratification from buying that brand new games console, pair of trainers or piece of jewellery.
But it is arguably more important to invest in life experiences rather than material possessions. Wouldn’t it make more sense to put the same value into your emotions?
It seems that the happiest people in the world are actually those who distance themselves from unnecessary spending and put their money towards travel, experiences and memories. And it’s well worth it.
In an experiment for a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, researchers surveyed participants before and after they bought something.
Before the purchase, respondents had said that a life experience would make them happier, but it made more financial sense to buy an item.
They then expressed that the life experience was more value for money.
Ryan Howell, associate professor of psychology at San Francisco State University said:
“We naturally associate economic value with stuff. I bought this car, it’s worth $8,000. We have a hard time estimating the economic value we would place on our memories.”
The researchers found that people do understand life is about the memories we create, but that we all too often get caught up in trends and the latest must have item.
Dr. Thomas Gilovich is a psychology professor at Cornell University, and he has been looking to see if there is a link between money and happiness.
He says: “We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.
Speaking to Fast Company he said:
“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods. You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless, they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are a part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.”
It’s time to explore the world, it’s time to book that adventure and experience life. You won’t regret it.