Postdate: 24 July 2017
Worldwide research among both the younger and older generation shows that a materialistic lifestyle often leads to more anxiety and depression. Materialism also leads to less social interaction and satisfaction, says psychologist Tim Kasser. Materialism also includes power, fame and ambition.
More money, more luck?
A materialistic attitude to life is about the attachment to money, status and possessions: only when you have a lot of money, fame or stuff, you are happy. People who are focused on materialism often overestimate the feeling before the goal is achieved in comparison with the feeling it delivers. This constantly leads to disappointments. In addition, people who want to achieve the maximum in terms of money and power, have to invest much more in this - with a greater chance of failures - than when goals are set lower. In the latter case there is also more time left for hobbies and social life, which demonstrably yields more feelings of happiness. There even seems to be a connection between loneliness and materialism. "Loneliness makes materialistic and materialism leads to loneliness," says Professor Rik Pieters.
Many possessions and yet lonely
Materialism is often used to soften or even compensate feelings of loneliness and insecurity. It feels just as good, but this feeling ebbs away quickly and makes sure that the feelings of loss are not filled. On the one hand it seems to be a substitute for social contacts, but also by pursuing these kinds of goals little time and energy remains to invest in social contacts. In addition, this investment does not even lead to more money or power, but rather to a vicious circle. It is clear that change of attitude to life can break this vicious circle.
By opening yourself to less materialistic matters, you create more space for things that really matter. Ask yourself what art or music does to you, and you are one step further. On vacation you can be busy with what you want to make, so that your backpack gets filled with beautiful memories. In short, the happiness you get through experience is much more sustainable in nature.
‘To be content with little is difficult; to be content with much, impossible’