What’s the first thing on your to-do list? Shopping? Practice shows that material wealth makes people happy despite the fact that it’s temporary.
You enter shops with great enthusiasm, but the thrill disappears right after you leave the shop. Why?
It looks like your level of satisfaction drops as soon as you buy the items of your list. That’s why you go shopping again. It’s a cycle that never breaks.
Truth is, you can’t buy happiness. Shopping causes addiction, and it lures you into buying things you don’t need. What about long-term happiness?
1. Shopping doesn’t work
A research conducted at Cornell University showed that you can actually break the cycle. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at the university, traveling can give you the same happiness.
The happiness you get every time you go shopping drops over time. Unlike shopping, travelling gives you long-term happiness and memories you will never forget.
According to Gilovich, adaptation is “one of the enemies of happiness.” The things you buy give you short-term happiness, and you get used to it. That’s why you go shopping over and over again.
2. The secret of lifelong happiness
Dr. Gilovich explains that your experience is a bigger part of yourself than the things you buy.
These things don’t define you, but travel experiences are part of you. Your best memories don’t come from the things you buy.
3. Happiness comes from connection
Traveling takes you to incredible places. You get to know a lot of new people and cultures. Spending time in other environments gives you happy and lasting memories. You will never forget those places and memories.
Robert Waldinger, head of a 80-year old research at Harvard University can tell you a lot about happiness.
One study showed that happy and healthy are those who most connect to their family, friends, community, and other people. Waldinger encourages everyone to deepen their relationships and do new things with your friends or family.
Experience brings you closer to others, and we can’t say the same about material things. Traveling brought Waldinger closer to his family.
4. Other things to give you lifelong happiness
Do extreme sports, learn new skills and do something that excites you can really give you joy. You won’t be excited about your new car in two months, but you will always remember your trip to France, for example.
Memories give you an eternal source of happiness, and you will learn how to appreciate life more.