There is a reason the phrase “retail therapy” exists. The instant gratification of buying yourself a new gadget or an expensive coat is definitely a great feeling, but the happiness derived from retail therapy is short lived.
Not surprisingly, research now shows that people who invest money on experiences are overall happier than those that spend their money on possessions.
San Francisco State University researchers conducted a study to determine how people gauge the value of experiences over things. What they discovered is people do in fact care about making memories and can easily recognize the value of investing time and money in experiences, but the appeal of buying into material trends is too easy for most people to overlook.
Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University, has explained why these trends seem to more easily impact millennials, who are easily influenced by current day marketing tactics.
“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,” Dr. Gilovich says.
This is not to say working towards buying something you may really want is a waste of time or money. In fact, it is important to help keep yourself driven by sometimes creating goals that are easier to attain than, say, something that could take years to accomplish.
Still, there must be a balance in order to truly make the most out of your life and be the happiest you can be.
“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 part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences,” Dr. Gilovich explains.
The summary of these research findings is as follows: buying yourself something you really want is important and can be a great source of temporary happiness in your life, but always be sure to focus time and money towards creating memorable moments that will likely stay with you longer in your lifetime.
Politics1 week ago
Remember that 16-year-old who threw the best party ever in Melbourne? Well this is how he turned out 10 years later.
Education3 weeks ago
How to handle your first job after graduating college
Education2 weeks ago
How to search for job opportunities (3 steps)
Politics2 months ago
This comic will forever change the way you look at privilege
Technology3 months ago
Bill Gates made these 3 predictions back in 1999. Here’s how accurate he was.