Material Life, Miserable Life – Why Materialistic Achievements Don’t Necessarily Matter
That materialism equals misery is no secret. The Guardian recently cited studies about the correlation between unhappiness and material pursuit. The Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science published a study about the levels of post-traumatic stress disorders in materialistic individuals.
According to Psychology Today, while acquisitiveness is natural for humans, accumulation of wealth and material good is not necessarily related to happiness. The New York Times similarly reported consumer culture leads to insecurities instead of happiness.
Many more studies, researches and reports can be cited here. It might sound weird that buying nice things would make you unhappy instead of euphoric. Here’s why they do:
The Gratification Is Short-Lived
New things are gratifying only as long as they’re new: after a few days, they’ll be older; there’ll be newer things in the market; new fashions and trends will surface, and the race to acquire them will begin again. There are newer iPhones every year, better laptops, faster cars—you’ll never be content since there’s no owning the “latest” version for too long.
You’re Losing Sight of the Bigger Picture
While you’re busy scrolling through the latest products, there are more important things in life. You’ve been effectively distracted from things that really matter—family, career, fulfillment, contentment, health—focusing on things that will leave you with an empty feeling.
You’ll Never Have Enough Money
Climbing the financial ladder is a one-way journey, with people always striving for more. A regular person aims to become a millionaire; a millionaire aims to become a billionaire; so on and so forth. You’ll always want a bigger house, a sleeker car, a heftier bank balance. This desire to acquire more can keep you trapped forever in a downward spiral—and can leave you hollow on the inside.
Take a good look at everything that you own. Ask yourself: Do you use all the stuff you own? How frequently? How many of your books haven’t you read? Clothes haven’t you worn? Movies haven’t you watched?
Clutter Is Stressful
There’s a reason professionals emphasize de-cluttering. Clutter makes you feel disorganized, cramped, claustrophobic and chaotic. The more stuff you collect in your house, the more clutter you’ll end up with. The more the clutter, the less at ease you’ll feel.
Money Can’t Buy Happiness
Money is tangible; happiness isn’t. What’s worse, you think the void for happiness can only be overcome with the help of more materialistic trinkets. When you buy more, though, you’re left with the same feeling in a few days. The process is continuous and never-ending.
Look for Happiness in the Right Places
If you’ve been feeling down despite owning everything, you might want to re-evaluate your life.
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