It is often said that it is not the one who has the most who is happy, but the one who needs the least.
However, the consumer society in which we live pushes us to look for happiness in material goods that pretend to facilitate our life, to make it more comfortable and bearable. Thus, owning things, following certain social and beauty canons and showing them to the world via social networks is the current context in which we live in the twenty-first century.
Is happiness synonymous with materialism?
It is very easy to confuse happiness with materialism. The more possessions we have, the more we will be recognized and the happier we will be. And yet, nothing is further from the truth. Buying for the sake of buying provides momentary and ephemeral pleasure and satisfaction, which is often the result of a need or a kind of addiction to mask emotional deficiencies or to conceal low self-esteem. Once the novelty wears off, we return to the starting point and need to buy something else.
How to leave this vicious circle?
To get out of this vicious circle, we must first rethink our daily life habits and get rid of what we don’t need in order to learn to appreciate more the small details and human relationships. And a moment of crisis, such as the one we are currently experiencing due to inflation and loss of income, is ideal.
The essential thing is to know how to analyze the material objects that we really need, whether for our physical and psychological well-being, and those that we simply desire. We cannot live without the former, but we can do without the latter. Living with less is positive and helps us to move away from a materialistic mentality. But to achieve this, it is important to ask ourselves five fundamental questions that will help us be happy with less.
1. Do you need the things you lack?
Learning to differentiate between the things we need and the things we want can help us focus on what is really important. “Needs and wants are not the same thing”.
2. Do your possessions define you as a person?
Your possessions do not reflect your worth, nor do they define who you are. They are a means, not an end.
3. Do you enjoy the small pleasures of life?
A meal with your family, a movie and blanket night or an afternoon with your friends… happiness is tied to everyday moments rather than material possessions.
4. Do you appreciate what you have?
Be grateful for what you have and stop thinking about what you lack.
5. Are you willing to change to be happier?
Revisiting your habits and adopting new customs can be just as enjoyable and make you happy as what you had before.And do not forget that when you meet people who exude total serenity, it is those who appreciate what they have, accept their life as it is and do not focus only on what they lack. Here is the main key to being happy with little: say thank you every day for what we have.
I’m a big fan of short stories about people – I’m a pro at tech and smartphones, serial literature, and writing in my spare time.