Spending money on experiences over possessions can help you find your inner zen

With ads to buy the latest trainers, tracksuit or television wherever we look, it’s easy to slip into the mindset that the more stuff we have the better we feel.

But now it has been proven that quality beats quantity.

Research from San Francisco State University has found that people who spend money on experiences rather than material items are happier when their dollar is better spent.

[Credit: Toa Heftiba]

Fortunately for the cash-splashers, this doesn’t mean entirely tying the purse strings but purchasing experiences rather than possessions.

So, instead of getting the latest product, data shows that adventures and encounters which translate into memories are more beneficial than physical products.

Supporting this claim, American spiritual teacher Adyashanti believes that new possessions are merely a distraction and provide only temporary happiness.

[Credit: Stan B]

Speaking about our instinct to shop ‘til we drop, he said: “When we make a purchase and/or get what we want, we are temporarily happy and fulfilled.

“But the reason for happiness is not because we got what we wanted, but because for a brief period of time, we stopped wanting, and thus we experience peace and happiness.”

His philosophy lends itself to the idea that spending dulls emotion that we try to suppress, in much the same way turning to booze or gambling might.

So, in order to accumulate experiences rather than materials for a richer mindset and more fulfilled soul, here are a few ideas.

[Credit: Freestocks]

1) Giving beats receiving
By purchasing items for a loved one, we not only get to practice altruism, but also put a smile on someone else’s face that could last as a memory forever.

2) It’s the little things
In a coronavirus world where the stability of our finances and jobs are so uncertain, remember less can be more. A coffee at a local café with the right person can be just as momentous as a fancy restaurant with a three-figure bill at the end.

3) Happy mind, happy you
Investing in a little self-care can have significant effects on both mental and physical health, so now that salons are reopening, the power of a massage or reiki healing can have long-lasting effects on wellbeing to free your mind and find your magic.

[Credit: Nathan Dumlao]