Many believe that material things can make us truly happy. It seems that something is missing in life until complete satisfaction, and with its appearance, everything around will sparkle with new colours.
This makes inveterate materialists – people who prefer exclusively material goods to simple earthly joys – work tirelessly and strive to get more and more.
In fact, not always material values bring happiness. We found 8 reasons that confirm this.
The more things, the more work
Many things require increased attention and time. For example, cleaning a large house takes more effort than a smaller one because everything needs special attention. Owning several cars increases the cost of their maintenance several times.
We often do not realize, but the more we have, the more work we create for ourselves. In addition, accumulating things is not as difficult as decluttering a house.
Material things bring short-term happiness
Leaf Van Boven, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Colorado, conducted a study showing that material goods’ “happiness effect” lasts less than experiences.
Leaf Van Boven comments on the results of the experiment as follows:
Impressions strengthen relationships because you tend to do things with other people, so there’s a big social aspect to it. Also, we often share stories about experiences because they are more fun to talk about than material things. They are just more interesting.
By the way, the “thrill” sensations from shopping can often be their cause. Therefore, many people make impulsive purchases – to get emotions and a sense of satisfaction here and now.
Material things are never enough
We all want to improve our lives and have more to feel comfortable. Each of us lacks something: our apartment, another – a car, the third dreams of new furniture or modern technology.
Unfortunately, people tend to compare themselves with others and envy others. Because of this, they want to have the same as those with whom they compare themselves. From this arises dissatisfaction and, as a result, the pursuit of material wealth.
And for many people, material acquisitions are a way to fill the inner emptiness and dissatisfaction with life. Instead of understanding why they feel down and dealing with it, they are satisfied with the short-term euphoria of material acquisitions and the pursuit of new things.
Buying things is addictive
A study published in Comprehensive Psychiatry suggests that 5% of people in the world are shopaholics. They have an unhealthy addiction to shopping. Such people experience anxiety and a real withdrawal syndrome when quitting smoking or drinking alcohol if they do not buy something for themselves for a long time.
As a result, things control the lives of those who are addicted to shopping. By the way, hoarding resulting from such a habit can develop into obsessive-compulsive disorder – a psychological disease when a person ceases to control himself and proceeds to thoughtless collecting, which worsens his life.
Materialism harms the environment
The more things a person produces, the more the environment is polluted. Demand creates supply – the more people want to get, the more it is produced.
And getting rid of unnecessary things can also harm the environment – for example, improper disposal of batteries and accumulators, lamps, plastic causes a severe blow to nature. Therefore, it is better to take the same batteries to specialized collection points to avoid harming the environment even more.
Material things require too much financial spending
We do not deny that sometimes you also need to spend money on impressions – for example, pay for a trip to the sea or a ticket to the theatre.
But the desire to have a lot of things empties our wallet gradually and imperceptibly if we acquire something from month to month just for the sake of feeling happy. In addition, many expensive purchases lose value over time – cars, fashion gadgets. Every year new models appear, and the previous ones fall in price.
Fortunately, if you live within your means and be more moderate and prudent in your spending, you can avoid large financial losses.
Materialists often experience anxiety
A person who sees happiness in material goods tends to worry about them. This additional anxiety arises from the fear of losing what is dear to him.
For example, if a fire breaks out in the house and takes many things with it, almost anyone will experience a real depression due to the lost money invested in them. He will also be upset because of the energy spent on this. Not to mention the materialists, for whom things are the meaning of life.
People who own luxury items often worry about being robbed, so they invest money and time protecting their property. This can cause great psychological stress and become a test for them. It is not uncommon for truly wealthy people to seek the help of a psychotherapist because worrying about property caused them discomfort and prevented them from living everyday life.
Attachment to things prevents you from being happy in the present
When we love to acquire things and feel happiness from this, we live in the future. We often talk about how we will be more satisfied when we get everything we want. Very often, this prevents you from being happy in the present. We do not enjoy the current moment or what we already have.
And also, if for some reason materialists fail to achieve what they want, they can not only get upset but fall into a real protracted depression. In addition, the desire for constant acquisition and accumulation of material goods often leads them to workaholism.
Therefore, it is better to be grateful for what we have and not perceive future goals as the only way to become happy.