The world we live in today is focused a lot on material things. Think about the neighbors, friends, or family members that have to keep up with each other; Jim gets a new 10-foot boat, so John has to go buy a 20-foot boat. Jane gets a new Ford Mustang, so Susie has to get a new better car and buys a Mustang convertible. It’s the whole “keep up with the Joneses” mentality. And then we go from smaller houses to larger ones and then have to buy all sorts of stuff to fill those bigger homes… you get the picture.
Where so many people have fallen prey is that they have the mentality that we can buy happiness by buying more “stuff”. We’ve been living this way in the western world for quite some time. But are we really happier with all those material possessions?
More and more people are starting to feel that all this extra stuff weighs us down and adds to the stress we’re feeling. All these things have to be taken care of and with bigger houses and cars come bigger maintenance issues and repair costs.
It’s not surprising that as more and more people begin a new search for happiness it involves ‘minimalist living’, a trend of owning less and living simpler lives. We see it in the trend towards minimalism, tiny houses, and in the success of books like “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. There must be something to this idea of owning less and focusing less on buying and owning things.
Does this mean that to be happy we need to give away all our stuff and move into a tiny house or apartment? (Or moving into an RV…which I did when my kids were little, and we loved the experiences we were able to have because of it).
Of course not. But what it may indicate is that spending a little time decluttering and getting rid of some things. This can give us a feeling of freedom, peace and that we have more breathing room (especially true if your house was/is extremely cluttered and you declutter it).
It also means that instead of accumulating more stuff, we should try focusing on experiences. Instead of buying a fancy car, new furniture, or a new set of golf clubs, take that money and spend it on a fun trip. Use it to spend quality time with your loved ones and make beautiful memories. Not only will you increase your happiness during the time you’re on vacation, you’ll also feel joy as you remember this trip and the time spent with your spouse and kids.
You don’t even have to go that far. Maybe a vacation won’t work for you because you can’t get time off work or your kids are still in school. So instead, think of spending quality time with them instead of buying gifts. Instead of buying another shirt or book for your mom or best friend, take her out on her birthday for lunch and some girl time. Instead of picking up another electronic gadget or tool, go hang out with the guys at the ballpark and cheer on your favorite team. Think experiences and making memories instead of buying more stuff – it really can be that simple.
Would you be interested in an exciting, unique, and fun way to experience happiness? If so be sure to check out Experience.Happy – our newest coloring adventure, a 5 senses immersive coloring adventure! Each month, we’ll present to you a different topic on something that will make you happy.