Collect Moments Not Things (The Ultimate Guide + Image Quotes)

Do you recall your first MP3 player, or the nonfat caramel latte you purchased last week? What emotions do those items evoke in you? Consider spending Christmas with your family. You probably don't think of gifts first; you probably think of the conversations, laughter, and board games. Lasting joy does not come from things, but from experiences. Our brains are like living scrapbooks, collecting moments in time, framing them, and revisiting them on a regular basis. We can derive happiness from these memories years after they are created, and we can enjoy them in ways that material things cannot.

Seek out new experiences and memories

Most of us can tell the difference between the joy we feel when our new iPhone arrives in the mail and the joy we feel when we go on a dream vacation to Italy. Whereas we may be excited in the days leading up to a vacation, we become impatient when we are waiting for an object. Whereas most of us quickly lose interest in a new gadget or toy, we tend to treasure a memory.

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In one study, researchers investigated the relationship between happiness and memory and discovered that people rely on past experiences to feel happy and well-being. Another study looked at what people regret in their lives and discovered that the following were the most common regrets in life, in descending order of importance: education, career, romance, parenting, the self, and leisure. There is no mention of “not getting a yacht” or “not buying a Coach purse” on this list. The items on this list are experiences, not objects. When we pursue experiences we want to have rather than things we want to buy, we fill our scrapbook with beautiful pictures and rich, funny stories. Even the most traumatic events, when recounted, can make for the most gripping and amusing stories.

So, in this materialistic society, how do we shift our focus from consumerism to the pursuit of experiences?

Most of us aren't going to jump off the couch and go skydiving right after reading this, and that's fine! Some of the most joyful times in our lives aren't the most exciting. Here are a few ideas to get you started collecting.

Make a To-Do List

We've all got things we secretly want to do. Making a list and posting it on your bulletin board will bring those memories even closer. Most of us abandon our more ambitious plans because we believe they are impossible or too expensive.

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Maintain an Adventure Jar

Place a jar on your kitchen counter. Put the money you would have spent on those things in the jar every time you decide not to buy something you don't really need or not to eat out. Most of us don't realize how much money we could save if we didn't waste it on frivolous items.

Set some short-term objectives

Not every experience has to be life-changing. Try doing something different once a week, or even once a day. Consider taking a different route to work or inviting some new people over every now and then. Instead of becoming trapped in a mindless routine, take some time out of your day to enjoy life. You might be surprised at how these seemingly insignificant details can alter your life.

Spend Time With Family And Friends

We have some of the best memories with other people. When you're feeling down, a simple conversation with a close friend may be all you need to lift your spirits.

Be Open To New Experiences

Many of us are afraid to venture outside of our comfort zones, which prevents us from experiencing many things in life and leads to regret. Life is meant to be experienced. Try new things; that is how memories are formed!

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You have heard it all before: "Live life to the fullest", "follow your dreams", "be who you are" and "if it is meant to be, it will be". These are all wonderful quotes that are meant to help you live a happy life but they miss the point. Our lives are interconnected with each other and with the world.

No matter how hard you think you try, there’s always going to be a certain level of stress in your life. And when stress gets out of hand, it can start to negatively affect your life. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are some easy steps you can take to improve your life in the long run, and we’ve found a few that can help you enjoy a better life and get rid of stress.

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