Most of us will agree that money brings us happiness. It is also imperative that almost all of us are involved in the pursuit of happiness daily. But, years of research reveals that we should Invest more on experiences and less on material things.
Happiness often is the best indicator of health in our society. Money does make us happy but it is how we allocate money for various activities that catch our eye. The scientific findings show us how money helps us pay for our dreams and aspirations.
Physical gifts do make us happy. However, research at Cornell University in the United States has shown that most people find a vacation much more appealing than handy gifts.
One of the biggest enemies of happiness is adaptation. In fact, according to Dr Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University, people crave for something that is out of the ordinary and very exciting.
With purchases, our level of satisfaction falls with each purchase. The process is often repeated again and again.
But if you spend a good deal of money on a vacation, you could get newer experiences to cherish for a lifetime. The memories are of great help, and you could feel the rush of happy hormones every day.
If you are going to various events or even listen to musical soirees and watch plays, the chances of you doing well is often high. There is a rush of good hormones that make us happy in various ways. A new device or even a new car may just be an ordinary vehicle we own. We should be able to experience various things in our lifetime. Traveling escapades are the best way to forget the mundane life we are in. The new memory, according to researchers makes us happy and helps get past our lives.
Gilovich suggests people get to be happy by spending money on art exhibits, outdoor activities and learning new skills along with travelling. According to the studies conducted by him in the Easterlin paradox, people feel happy when money buys those experiences and events. Initially, products offered a lot of happiness. With time, people’s satisfaction with things went down and the satisfaction on experiences went up.
In fact, it was counter intuitive that something of a physical object could not keep a person happy for a long period of time.
But once-and-done experiences did make people happy for longer times. While happiness from material purchases diminishes from time to time, experiences gradually become part of our identity. This is why you should invest more on experiences.
Another study carried out by Gilovich found that happy people are often those who are rested and well traveled. It is just not about financial investments but about long term, impactful experiences in their lives that make the happy.
By shifting investments that societies make and the policies that steer large populations to experiential pursuits is what promotes greater happiness. Gilovich and his co-author Amit Kumar expose all this and more in their recent academic journal Experimental Social Psychology and is an eye-opening research for the larger citizenry and the decision-making bodies in society.