It’s safe to say that 2020 was a whirlwind year for everyone. Whether observing the political turmoil or enduring a literal global pandemic, we were all affected one way or another. Some of us lost loved ones, others struggled with mental health. Whatever the reason, we are all relieved to reach the end of 2020.
During the holidays, we begin wrapping ourselves into holiday festivities or hunting for the perfect Christmas list. We focus on filling our stockings with extravagant gifts and spoiling ourselves after a tedious year. In a time where consumerism culture is heavily conspicuous, it’s easy to fall victim to a world of materialism. We fail to remember what we already have. We forget to practice gratefulness.
“Money doesn’t buy happiness.” People often scoff at the saying. We think that having more money paves the way for more ‘stuff’, stuff that can grant us happiness. In consumer culture, we believe that by obtaining the trendiest clothing or the most luxurious car model, we have vastly improved our lifestyles. Modern society sees money as the solution in many scenarios, not even realizing how temporary it truly is.
In psychology, hedonic adaptation refers to the idea that happiness is impossible to obtain through material ‘things’. Instead, true happiness is achieved only by focusing on what we already have. While purchasing that trendy jacket may grant satisfaction, the ‘new’ soon becomes the ‘norm’, and we find ourselves wanting more. It’s a habit that subjects us into an endless cycle of temporary comfort and disappointment.
While indulging in trendy pieces every now and then are comforting treats, remember the intangible factors in your life. Whatever challenges we’ll imminently face in the years to come, confiding in friends and family always beat finding comfort in the materialistic world.
Challenge: Instead of a Christmas list, make a list of everything you’re grateful for. Think more about what you already have instead of what you want.