It is a very commonplace habit for people to burn through their paycheck or run up a hefty credit card bill very quickly. Now granted, there are some good credit card rewards programs but that won’t help much if you go into debt reaping those rewards. Societal conditioning is going to tell us that this is simply a bad habit. But is it just a bad habit? Well, material wealth does indeed bring happiness to you. But this is fairly temporary. The excitement of the new purchase wears off in time and replaces itself with the urge to get something new again.
This addiction just presents one problem. Money certainly can make your life less stressful and way easier. But it does not present you with long-term satisfaction.
Purchasing Things Is Not The Way To Go
As per a research conducted at the University of Cornell, we have a way of breaking this cycle. A professor of psychology, Thomas Gilovich, says that individuals get the same happiness as purchasing something when they go on a trip. The interesting bit is, the happiness hormones from experiencing a trip remain almost the same over time. The memories remain. Whereas, the happiness from a purchase diminishes over a period of time.
The Secret of Long-Term Contentment
It is certainly true that new things will make you happy with their novelty. But the novelty value of anything wears off with time. Which is why it cannot maintain long-term happiness.
As per Dr. Gilovich, experiences form a larger part of ourselves than any of our tangible material objects. You can very much love the things you buy, even to the extent of believing that they are a part of you. But unfortunately, they are disconnected from your personality. Travel experiences, on the other hand, shape your psyche and add to your being.
Happiness Oozes Out Of Connections We Have
Traveling lets your experience new places and cultures. Everything that is around you feels just that bit more enriching in that new environment. Your body and brain tend to lose a sense of time as you are excited to absorb new information.
This disconnection that you experience once you put yourself in a new environment is what enables you to have lasting memories. It is the novelty and the excitement altogether which makes the memories difficult to replace or forget.
The leader of a project spanning 8 decades, Robert Waldinger, is well-informed about happiness. The results of one study showed that people who are most connected with their community, other people, friends, and family were the happiest and healthiest.
Waldinger states that it is important to deepen one’s relationships. We can do this by embarking on doing new activities together with individuals that are a significant part of our lives. Experiences bond us with others in ways that tangible material objects just cannot.
Other Things To Induce Long-Term Happiness Hormones
You can go to uncommon events, learn a new skill, or even participate in an extreme sport. A new gadget or car will seem outdated, old, and ordinary with time. But the memories you make will serve as a source of looking back and reliving happy times. They will become a part of you which you can pass on to the next generation.
Spend money in buying experiences, not objects. You will be surprised at the long-term satisfaction and happiness.
What is the one experience you have been craving to have?
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