Collect Moments, Not Things

We all know the saying, “money can’t buy happiness”. The truth is money actually can make you happier in the moment – but, it can’t buy you happiness for long. Research shows that there are links between materialism and life dissatisfaction. Despite this, we’re encouraged to believe that fulfilment comes through what we can acquire, rather than building on what we have.

When you buy something new it’s exciting, but the feeling soon wears off and before you know it you’re looking for something else to get your happiness fix. You may remember from an earlier post that this is called the ‘hedonic treadmill’. Research shows we quickly adjust to new life circumstance – for better or worse – and consider it normal. Although the human capacity to adjust can be helpful if things get harder, it also means that we quickly get used to many of the things that make us feel good. Therefore it’s important to find routes to happiness that are more lasting.

So how do you get more from your money and ensure that the feelings of happiness don’t wear off too quickly? If you are going to spend your money, spend it wisely and choose an experience. Whilst happiness levels are equal whether you’re buying an object or an adventure, the memories you have of the experience and the pleasure you gain from talking about it and recalling it, means the good feelings will last much longer. This means you avoid the adaption effects of the hedonic treadmill and remain happier.

Shared experiences normally tend to be with other people (and we know what a boost relationships give to wellbeing!), whether it’s something you do with friends or family or someone you meet as a result of the activity. We’re also less likely to compare our experiences to other people’s than we are with material objects. This means we are less exposed to the anxiety and dissatisfaction this comparison can bring.

Our experiences make us who we are. They teach us new things, connect us to others, help us learn more about ourselves and open up our world. So ensure that you make time for them and make them count.

Today’s strategy is to plan something that’s an experience!
Brainstorm as many ideas as you can in one minute from small to big. Here’s a few to get you started:
– Run 5k
– Go out for dinner with your friends
– Plan a weekend away
– Drive to an area of interest
– Go to an art gallery
– Go trampolining
– Plan an adventure
– Learn to…
– Plan a bike ride

Pick the one you like best and book it in the diary straight away.

I’ll be putting this into action on Saturday when we’re off on holiday – the ultimate store of good times and good memories.

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