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.
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!
People Who Can't Take Criticism: There are two types of people in the world who can't take criticism. After spending some time around these people, you'll notice the following traits. The first type of person can't hear any insult, insult, or criticism. The second type of person is the opposite because they are so open to criticism that they can't make a decision on their own. Both types of people suck because they rely on other people to make their decisions for them. And who knows what those decisions might be? Not having the ability to make your own decisions is a terrible trait to have. If you can't make your own decisions, you're not living your own life and you're not making your own mark on the world. Read more.
Life Changes Be Ready: It's important to be ready for changes. So often, we don't prepare for them! But making sure you can handle changes is vital to your life. It's even more crucial to know what to expect when life throws you some curveballs. Here are three important things to keep in mind. Content: It's also important to recognize that some changes are easily noticeable, like moving to a new city. Others are easier to miss, like the new habits you're forming. The more you're aware of all the changes around you, the better prepared you will be to handle them! Read more.
Finding Direction in Life: When you feel like you've lost direction and can't seem to move forward in life, it's time to change your perspective and the way you look at things. Take a look at your goals and how you can achieve them. Do you need to do anything to change your goals? Have you accomplished anything in the past few months? If you're setting goals, you should always reward yourself when you get closer to reaching your goal. Find a positive outlet to get all of your emotions out. Write a journal. Listen to music. Watch a movie. Exercise. One of the worst things that can happen to a person is to get stuck in a rut and feel like they're going nowhere. It's a lonely place. But there is a way out! Don't worry about trying to be perfect.. sometimes mistakes make the best lessons. Read more.
Don't Worry About Those Who Talk Behind Your Back: One of the leading causes of stress and loss of productivity is worrying about others gossiping behind your back. Chances are that 99% of the people talking about you don't even know your name. It's certainly not worth it to worry about what others think of you. Instead of worrying, spend your time and energy working on becoming the kind of person you want to be and spend time with those who deserve your attention. Read more.
Interpersonal Conflict: Interpersonal conflict can be one of the most difficult aspects of life. Whether you are the one suffering the conflict or bringing it about, it is something that will always be present in life. Whether you are suffering or causing the conflict, there are ways to resolve it. First, you should evaluate the situation. Are the stakes high? What is at risk? Is there much money involved? Once you've figured this out, be upfront and honest with the people involved. There is no point in hiding or lying because that will only worsen the situation. You need to be honest with both sides of the conflict, including yourself. Read more.
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.