19. Breaking the Spending “Damage Cycle”
When we buy something, we get a rush of happiness. Sometimes, it can feel like a sense of accomplishment if we are buying groceries or getting the necessary things in our life. So we seek that same happy feeling whenever we go shopping, even if these objects are not necessary to our well-being. This is why some people end up with a shopping addiction. If we look at buying things as our source of happiness, this is a slippery slope to bankruptcy.
Buying for happiness leads to a condition known as a “damage cycle.” When we rely on buying something to give us a boost of happiness, that joy we feel goes away faster and faster. Think about how happy we used to feel as kids to get our gifts on Christmas morning. Now, as adults, our happiness fades a lot quicker and we quickly move on to new things. Researchers at Cornell University have discovered that one of the ways to break the cycle is by doing things that make us happy, instead. Physical actions like traveling will create happiness that lasts much longer and it helps stop us from seeking objects as a source of joy.