What if I told you I have good news for you: you can buy happiness.
Unfortunately most people think they can and do it all wrong. Here’s the secret.
If you want to buy happiness, it’s actually quite easy. Unfortunately most people get it wrong. They buy and buy and buy until their house is loaded with stuff and they feel less happy than when they started.
Researchers have found that spending money on things doesn’t increase happiness. In fact, being focused on possessions is a sign of loneliness. Luckily there are a couple ways to buy happiness and it’s very easy.
Better Spending Choices
If you want to buy happiness you have to spend your money in the right way. Most people think that if they just buy a better car, a better house, a better TV, they will be happy. Research shows us that is not best approach and is most often counter productive. Instead of spending money on things, researchers have found the best way to spend money for happiness is to spend it on experiences.
Adventure-based spending, or spending on experiences, is a way to focus your time and money on things that matter. This leads to more reported happiness and better relationships.
Think about it: tell me about the TV you bought 10 years ago. Now tell me about the trip you took 10 years ago with friends or family. Which do you remember?
The second way to buy happiness is related to the first. The reason spending money on experiences works is because it’s not really about the money. The money is just a tool for what you’re really spending: time, focused attention, and control.
When you go on a vacation, you have set aside time to spend on something to increase your happiness. Instead of being focused on your problems and your stresses, you spend your focused attention on where you are and what you’re doing. Instead of living your life in the same rigid patterns, you have given up control of those things to let the experiences come to you.
In fact, those who go on vacation but haven’t freed up their time because they’re stuck on their phones, or haven’t given their attention because they’re too stressed about work, or haven’t relinquished control because they must mandate every minute of their day are often just as miserable as when they started. They have missed the happiness even though they spent the money.
Spending our time, attention, and control and relinquishing it to those close to us is the best way to buy happiness. Sharing exciting experiences and being in the moment with those we care about, or even just enjoying life as it comes makes our lives better, more fulfilling, and happier.
Are you ready to buy happiness? It doesn’t have to be a trip to a tropical island. It can be as simple as a race cleaning the bathroom with a loved one.
How will you spend your time today?