10 reasons why experiences make us happier than possessions

Every person has one or two guilty pleasures that help spark joy in their life.

For some, it could be spending their hard-earned money on buying the latest gadgets, purchasing a new set of clothes for their wardrobe, or getting a delivery of their favorite food after a long day of work.

There are also other people who believe that happiness is more than just satisfying their momentary whims and desires.

To these individuals, investing in experiences is a greater source of enjoyment and fulfills a deeper need that no other material purchase can meet.

Here are some reasons why experiences matter more and make you happier than possessions:

1) It Enriches Your Life and Shapes Your Identity

One of the primary reasons why experiences bring more happiness than possessions is that it helps you discover more about yourself.

Think about your motivation on why you buy the latest smartphone or laptop.

For me, I can’t deny that one reason why I splurge on devices is to keep up appearances and improve the way other people see me.

But even if I buy the latest items, I’ve realized that no number of physical objects can really change who I am.

It can make me temporarily happy but it doesn’t really contribute to my value as a person as much as I hoped it would.

Leaving my comfort zone has led me to experiences that helped define my passions.

Whether it’s from traveling to another place, attending a skill class, or going to events, I’ve learned that pursuing experiences is worth more than any possession and it forms a part of my unique identity.

After all, experts say that our life is the sum total of our experiences so don’t hesitate to take advantage of exciting opportunities that come your way.

2) It Gives You The Opportunity To Connect With More People

Another reason why experiences are better than material goods is that it allows you to build genuine connections with the people around you.

Nothing will make you happier than spending quality time with the people you love while enjoying new activities.

The memories that you create together are an essential foundation of a deeper and lasting relationship, which is something that possessions can’t easily replicate.

Additionally, you’re likely to find it easier to meet new people by searching for experiences.

If you’re an avid traveler, you can discover communities or encounter individuals with the same interests.

It also gives you a sense of belonging as you interact more with the locals and discover your own tribe.

3) Experiences Become More Valuable and Irreplaceable Over Time

There’s always an instant rush of happiness that comes with buying the latest smartphone or computer.

But with the way technology is advancing these days, there comes a point when your material possession eventually loses their value and becomes obsolete in the face of newer models and versions.

However, experiences bring priceless memories that only get better over time.

Although the feelings associated with experiences are mostly fleeting, they remain an important part of your life and stay with you as you get older.

Your memories of your experiences won’t deteriorate as possessions do.

In fact, the stories from your past adventures will become your legacy and will be a great memory to tell to future generations.

4) The Thrill Of Waiting For An Experience Brings Greater Satisfaction

According to a study, looking forward to an experience can provide more pleasure than anticipating buying and receiving a material item.

Imagine the last time you queued for a ride at a theme park or waited for a spot at your favorite restaurant.

When you finally reached the end of the line, I’m sure you felt a wave of satisfaction and relief come over you.

That’s because waiting is an important part of the whole experience.

In my case, I always get more excited when I have a scheduled out-of-town trip with my friends or family.

I’m usually in charge of making our travel itinerary and whenever I’m researching the best places to go to, I become more interested in our excursion.

Even simply reading about people’s past experiences in our intended travel location already gives me something to look forward to.

So the next time you’re going somewhere, try volunteering to plan your trip and discover just how much excitement you’ll get from preparing for your trip.

5) It Makes You Feel More Alive

Nowadays, we’re all caught up in our busy lives that we forget to immerse ourselves and live in the moment.

For this reason, we often think that spending money on material things is one way to feel accomplished and reinvigorated after working hard.

However, it’s easy to tire yourself of your accumulated possessions and go back to feeling empty.

This isn’t the case when you collect experiences.

Whether you go on a trip alone or plan an activity with your friends, these moments allow you to escape your mundane life and renew your soul with greater vitality.

It also teaches you to embrace the present and develops a sense of mindfulness.

This is why you often feel energized and more motivated when returning from an adventure or holiday vacation.

6) It Provides You With Lifelong Lessons

Another reason why experiences are worth investing in is that they foster personal growth and development.

I’ve gone on several trips where I believe I returned as a different individual.

All the moments that I spent interacting with the locals and immersing myself in their cultures and communities helped broaden my horizons and instilled precious lessons in me.

That’s the great thing about experiences: you can discover more about the world around you while satisfying your need for fun and leisure.

Once you start chasing experiences, you’ll feel like a different person and gain lessons that will be with you for a long time.

7) It Helps You Appreciate Life More

Pursuing new experiences is a great way to capture and fill your life with meaningful memories.

Unlike material objects, these memories are irreplaceable and you can bring them with you wherever you go as a reminder of the moments when you truly felt joyful and alive.

By remembering these invigorating and life-changing occasions, you’ll learn how to live happily and gratefully.

You’ll be able to appreciate the littlest things that occur and start paying attention to the events and moments in the present.

Additionally, looking back on past experiences can help lift you up in times when life gets hard and unbearable.

Think of your memories as the light that will encourage you in your hardest and most challenging moments.

8) Gained Experiences Are Always An Exciting Story To Tell

When you’re at a party and meet new people, sharing your experiences is always a great conversation starter.

Let’s be honest: it can be hard to talk about your personal possessions without seeming too braggy or intimidating and putting other people off.

But when you join a conversation with a story about your recent travel or visit to the newest restaurants, it can pique their interest and make for more fun and exciting social interaction.

Talking about experiences can also encourage more people to join the discussion and share their own memories.

Additionally, you may be surprised to have a new friend or potential travel buddy the next time you talk about your experience!

9) Your Experiences Are Unique To You

It’s common to find someone who has the same phone model as you or loves a similar clothing brand that you do.

That’s the disadvantage of possessions: you never feel truly unique because other people can also own them.

However, no two people can have the same experience with an event, location, or activity.

We all have different perspectives and you can remember a moment differently from other individuals.

I remember when I traveled to Korea with my family and how the country left various impressions on each of us.

During that trip, what stood out to me was how nice and friendly the locals were, while my parents remembered every place that we went to.

So if there’s one thing that traveling taught me, it’s that my experiences are my own and that’s what makes it more worthwhile than any other possession.

That’s also why it’s always interesting to hear other stories and experiences from other people.

10) Experiences Are Made Up Of Different Little Moments Of Happiness

Owning a physical object can instantly make you happy, but the downside is that you can also quickly adapt and get over it.

Experiences are different.

When you travel or try a new activity, there’s always the element of surprise that makes it more exciting and unforgettable.

When you have an item that you want to buy, you already have expectations about how it would make you feel or how you’d use it.

But with experiences, you never really know what you’re going to get until you’re there in the moment.

You can try to predict all you want but an experience will always take you by surprise as it consists of different little joyous moments that will make for a beautiful memory.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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