Published: Nov. 27, 2020 By

Have you ever thought about how easy it is to depend on materialistic items for our happiness? Some things that you cannot simply buy in stores are good friendships, laughs, experiences, love, dreams, and so much more! Reducing your "need" for a new pair of jeans when you own five perfect pairs at home, and reducing your want for the newest Apple product is essential to creating a sustainable future and world for not only yourself but for others too. The less you buy, the more precious resources you save rather than consume!

The discorrelation between happiness and material ownership:

  • Many of us, myself guilty, love to purchase, purchase, purchase. Whether that is clothes, gadgets, knick knacks, etc. We live in a materialistic world, and try to associate our brief thrill of happiness with buying items that we do not necessarily need.
  • This sense of being controlled by what we buy leads to anxiety, stress, and honestly a loss of our hard-earned money.
  • Happiness, rather, comes from a sense of stability and financial security is a part of this. A simple life encourages more freedom and less worries, ultimately leading to more happiness. Focus more on long-term goals and with living with less material possessions before you start to get cluttered with things.

How to be less dependent on purchasing:

  • Consider upcycling! Not simply bottles and cans but getting creative with what you use is important, “Upcycle is the new recycle”
  • Buy local! Something as simple as going to farmers markets for gifts and foods will help reduce the degrading environmental impact of the resources and energy that goes into the transporting and manufacturing of an item.
  • Downsizing, if possible, will have a significant impact on reducing your possessions and will encourage donating the stuff you no longer have a purpose or space for. 
  • If you do need to purchase, consider buying it used first and foremost! Whether you are in need of new clothes from the thrift store or even bigger buying a used car.

What to do to reduce the amount of “things” you own:

  • Look at what possessions you do have, and how many of them did you need or just want. 
  • Begin by limiting those purchases that are made to satisfy a “want”
  • Look at what you own and before purchasing consider if the item will actually bring you long-term happiness, or just a brief satisfaction. This will begin to train your mind to truly think about the impact of what you are buying.
  • It can be hard to begin the process of reducing what you own because it can feel overwhelming, however several studies have shown that once people free themselves of having “too much stuff”, they feel relief and the process of decluttering leads to a simpler life.

Why reducing the amount of items you buy is important:

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