Happiness: Experiences vs. Things

mindfulness Aug 01, 2020

Experiences bring more LASTING HAPPINESS than material things.

It is no longer a subjective view, it is the conclusion of decade-long Psychology Research.

In fact, the feeling of happiness begins BEFORE an experience even starts. The driving factor behind this happiness: ANTICIPATION.

* According to research, waiting for an experience (anticipation) elicits much more happiness and excitement than waiting for a material thing (think of waiting for your next dream vacation that you just booked vs. waiting for your new phone that you just preordered. (The later, creates more impatience rather than joyful anticipation).

* According to research, experiences tend to make people genuinely happier because they are less likely to compare their experience to those of their peers (which is more common with material things).

* People also like to discuss their experiences with others (reviving happy memories in the process) while they don't like as much to discuss their material possessions. Social interaction is a major criteria for Human Happiness and discussing meaningful experiences allows for lasting happiness through social interaction.

* Happiness brought about by Meaningful Life Experiences is certainly long-term, while happiness brought about by acquiring material things is short-term. (Compare levels of happiness when receiving that new phone you bought on Day # 1 vs. on Day # 10 ).

* Awaiting new experience expands imagination, opening our minds to world of exciting possibilities. There is this undeniable thrill of "What Could Be" that is certainly missing when you acquire a material thing (you know exactly what you are getting, and once you get it, the excitement quickly subsides).

At the end of the day, even if an experience doesn't turn out as you hoped or anticipated, it can always make for a great story (especially if you know how to recognize great lessons on this journey of Life!)

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