The most intriguing thing that happens to us humans is the moment we have money we go shopping and buy ourselves something new. Even though this gives us momentary happiness, when the trill of the new material wealth passes (which happens in a few days after the purchase), the enjoyment tends to fade.
The moment that you get used to your new computer or phone, the amount of satisfaction gets lower and you want to go and buy more things to get the same feeling of excitement. This repetitive nature tends to go in a circle.
The main problem with this is that you are trying to purchase your happiness. However, the money will only make your life simpler and less stressful and it will never give you long-term happiness.
Cornell University conducted research which proves that you can stop the repetitive motion of purchasing material goods. A psychology professor at the university named Thomas Gilovich said that humans can get the same level of happiness like purchasing with traveling.
The most important difference is that the happiness of the material purchases extinguish, while the memories of traveling around will always remain with us and supply us with happiness hormones for a long time.
The professor explains that by buying things and getting used to them, you are simply adapting to the new material goods. The adaptation is “one of the enemies of happiness.” Once you get adapted to the new things, happiness simply disappears.
Experience is the secret method in sustaining happiness. Dr. Gilovich explains that with experience, you will reach a part of yourself that you cannot get by just purchasing material goods. He says that you might think that you’ll feel a deeper connection to the purchases that you make, however, they are far from it. In contrast to the material purchases, the experiences that you’ll get by traveling will build who you are.
The most precious and lushest memories that you’ll have will be from all of the experiences in your life, unlike the ones of purchases.
By traveling, you will get to experience different places and cultures of the world. When you reach a new place that you haven’t been before, the feeling you get about everything around you will be very enriching. You will lose track of time because of the new information that you are absorbing.
When you get out of your comfort zone, or your everyday surroundings and places that you’ve already adapted to, you will have an excellent environment for lasting and happy memories which are difficult to forget.
80-year research at Harvard University conducted by Robert Waldinger can tell you a lot about happiness. This research’s result shows that people who connected more to their friends, family, and community feel happier and healthier than the ones who don’t.
Because of that, Waldinger states that by doing more new things with friends or family will help expand your relationships and make you feel content. Additionally, he explains that these experiences will give you a deeper connection than the ones with material purchases. Waldinger also talks about his own experiences and traveling and why he thinks they’re the best thing that could happen. These experiences brought him a lot closer to his family and friends.
Additional things that you can do to make yourself feel happier are learning new skills, sports, or unusual events which will give you more joy. If you buy a new car or a phone, they will eventually get old.
Invest the money that you’ve worked hard into experiences which will give you satisfaction and happiness of the memories for a long time.