The relationship between money and happiness may not be so distant after all. Research indicates that there are many benefits to ‘buying happiness’ health-wise and psychologically.
Here’s the situation – you failed an exam, big time. Say afterschool, you have a choice to either sit in your room to sulk and study, or go buy something shiny that you’ve been eyeing for quite a while now. Which do you choose?
The term retail therapy refers to spending money as an outlet for frustration, stress or unhappiness.
It is often looked down on with scorn – many believe it as an idiotic escape from reality – in addition to delaying consequences of bad decision-making. On the other hand, according to global psychological research, the evidence points the otherway.
Research suggests that humans are quite capable of assuming what will make them happy. Pleasures such as experiences, including trips, keep us focused on the present and give us a certain ‘long term’ happiness – purchases boost self esteem and give us a temporary high. ‘Comfort buys’ release a chemical in the brain, which activates pleasure even through window shopping and trying items on – to put it simply, they just infuse exhilaration into our lives.
A study in Taiwan proves that shopping for the elderly benefits their health. They are encouraged to walk frequently which raises heart health and simple bodily functions such as balance and coordination. Shopping also encourages them to purchase a larger variety of food – hence, raising health benefits.
Not convinced? A trio of psychologists have written a book called “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy, Then You Aren’t Spending It Right”, which to me, sounds completely accurate. It’s true and straight to the point. Money should make us happy – if not, why do we work so hard for it?
Money can buy most items, which make us ecstatic in our 21st century, materialistic world. Yes, it’s quite wretched that material items have become such an important value for us – but it’s inevitable and it’s just our modern culture. Money just simply makes us happy.