Redefining "Money Can't Buy You Happiness"

Redefining "Money Can't Buy You Happiness"
From Lifehack - October 13, 2017

Think of the last time your bought something you really wanted. How did you feel afterwards? It felt good.

Now, is there something else you really want? Maybe a new laptop, smartphone, or some nice clothes. Buying that thing, whatever it is, will bring you happiness. When you finally have it, you will be excited to try it out.

As cliche as it says money cant buy you happiness, we feel happy when we buy the things we want.

The Real Reason Why You Are Happy When You Buy Stuff

Human beings are hardwired to seek instant gratification. Youve probably heard the phrase instant gratification hundreds of times. To get that thing we want, the moment we want it. This desire for instant gratification came to us as a survival mechanism. Im not going to talk about instant gratification in details here, if you want to find out more about it, take a look at5 Ways to Get Over Approval Addiction and Instant Gratification.

While instant gratification is in humans nature, we live in a society driven by delayed gratification. Delayed gratification is the desire for something but the inability to get it when you want. In our society, you have to wait for your pay day, your meal at a restaurant, your coffee at Starbucks. When the thing you want finally arrives, you get excited.

Your excitement for this thing, the delayed gratification often elicits stronger emotional responses in you than when you get it.This feeling comes from dopamine a chemical that influences the pleasure centers in our brains.1 When you become excited for something, you are actually enjoying a release of dopamine into our system. The thing you are actually excited for is almost secondary to it.

Think about it, how did you feel a couple hours after buying something you waited a long time for?It was probably not nearly as good as when you first got it, or when youre waiting to get it. Its natural, its a part of human nature.

In this way the happiness you feel isnt true happiness. In fact, biologically speaking, youre just enjoying a blast of dopamine. When this blast of dopamine is gone, you want something new again, which is secretly, more dopamine. This is what that old saying money cant buy you happiness really means.

An Alternative to Buying Happiness


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