Bring yourself alive with a wonderful experience. Image via Pexels.
In the consumerist society that we have evolved into today, everything seems purpose built to make us materialistic. We are constantly told to wear the latest fashions, buy the latest technology and upgrade all our possessions constantly. It’s a never-ending race to the top of a mountain of stuff that we don’t need and that science claims, is not making us any happier. Many studies have shown that in order to feel our most alive, we should actually be spending our money on experiences – there is a lot of research to show experiences make us happier. So before you embark on the gift buying utopia of Christmas, consider treating yourself and your loved ones to something to do, rather than something to unwrap. Here’s why..
Adaptation Is Our Enemy
Human beings are wonderfully adaptable – it’s one of the key secrets to our survival. However, this does mean that we can suffer from short attention spans when it comes to the goods we buy. That flavour of the month, new coat or coffee machine that you just had to have, quickly loses its lustre, often before it’s even paid for. It’s the reason why we have wardrobes full of clothes and yet claim to have ‘nothing to wear’. Experiences, on the other hand, provide a different stimulus. Say you love going to the beach – it never gets old, because each trip is a little bit different. The experience just gets richer over time.
The Social Factor
We are social animals, but these days a lot of us maintain friendships via social media, which can leave us feeling hollowed out and disconnected. We need real-world contact with people in order to feel a proper connection, and quality time spent with loved ones, is the ultimate way of releasing stress and anxiety. The bonds we form are crucial to our quality of life. So plan something entirely new like a group surfing trip, kit yourself up via the UK’s #1 surf shop, and you have an experience that will bring people together – plus something more than shots of your lunch to fill your Instagram feed with!
Change Your Life
The thing about having new experiences is that they challenge you to see the world in a different way, and this can have a huge impact on both your character and your life choices. A new iPad doesn’t make you who you are, but that volunteering trip to Mexico really could – by helping you form new relationships, see other cultures, even opening your eyes to career paths you could be good at. There is an assumption at play that because objects last for longer, they are more valuable, but that’s just not true. Life experience (yes, even the not so good ones) is the sum total of who you are, and will never go out of style, unlike those boots. Invest in your life experience and you will draw strength, character and quite a few good dinner party stories from it! Material goods only portray how we want other people to think of us, whereas experiences have the power to shape how we think about ourselves – and that makes them pretty powerful things to have.