Experiences important than material possessions to gain happiness: study
A new study has unveiled the key ingredient to be happy in life – Experience. Not material possessions but real life experiences such as traveling or attending concerts etc pave way to being happy. The study on the pursuit of happiness was led by University of Colorado at Boulder.
As per the study, people who seek happiness through material possessions do not win friends either. In fact they are liked less by their friends when compared to their counterparts who indulge in experiences for being happy.
Hence solely seeking material possessions not only makes one less happy but less popular as well. "Trying to have a happier life by the acquisition of material possessions is probably not a very wise decision." Professor Leaf Van Boven summed up.
We tend hoard ourselves with material possessions as we tend to relate it to status and admiration. The study proves that this in fact generates an opposite effect. It affects the quality of social relationships. As human being is a social animal, good quality social relationships are gateways to health and happiness. "We have found that material possessions don’t provide as much enduring happiness as the pursuit of life experiences," Van Boven said.
The results of the study were derived through a series of experiments with undergraduate students combined with a national survey. In one of the experiments, the students were paired up and asked to converse about a real life experience or a material possession. After 15-20 minutes of interaction, the students were questioned on what they thought about their partners. "What we found was that people who had discussed their material possessions liked their conversation partner less than those who had discussed an experience they had purchased," Van Boven said.
A second experiment involved the researchers addressing a group of people and then posing questions to them. The group was told about people who purchased material item as well as about someone else’s real life experience. From the result, it was evident that someone who had made a material purchased was less liked than someone who had gained something through experience. "We have pretty negative stereotypes of people who are materialistic," Van Boven said.
Thanks to the study, we know have a proven secret of happiness.
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