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10 Benefits of Choosing Experiences Over Things

It’s no secret that experiences are often more memorable than things, but when it comes to creating lasting memories and strengthening relationships, experiences are so much more valuable than things. Here are 10 reasons why experiences mean more than things.

1) They make you happy

People who splurge on experiences—whether it’s a day at a spa or tickets to a show tend to be happier than those who only buy material items.

Why? Because buying things doesn’t generally make us feel as good as buying experiences do.

We like things that serve us, like TVs, phones, and cars, but we enjoy experiences more when they help other people, like giving our friends concert tickets or surprising our partner with a weekend getaway.

2) They are social

Unlike things, experiences can be shared with others and bring people together. Experiences can also create lifelong memories, which will enrich your relationships.

More often than not, people buy gifts for special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries and put a lot of time into finding that perfect present.

However, if you truly love someone and have good communication skills, you can show them how much they mean to you by planning a special trip together.

3) They help you learn and grow

One year of experience is worth far more than a lifetime (or even several lifetimes) with things.

People who invest in experiences are not only able to gain a fuller and richer understanding of themselves, but they also become better equipped to handle whatever challenges life may throw at them in the future.

There’s no telling what we’ll face next—but there’s no doubt that it will be something unexpected. The sooner we learn how to adapt, communicate effectively, and think critically about our surroundings, the better prepared we’ll be for anything that comes our way.

And as long as you keep your eyes open and your mind wide-open, you never know where your next great adventure might take you.

4) They teach you new skills

One of my favorite things about vacations is that they often expose me to new activities. I don’t love skiing, but when I take a trip to Colorado, it’s hard not to try it out for at least one day.

When you choose experiences over things, your brain works differently than it does when you buy something. Instead of using your money as a way to prove worth or gain social standing, you use experiences as opportunities for personal growth and development.

5) There is a story behind them

As it turns out, experiences make us happier than material goods. Having that new laptop will not bring you as much pleasure as eating at your favorite restaurant.

Experiences create memories and opportunities to interact with people that matter to you.

Furthermore, they have a longer-lasting effect on our well-being than material things. Think about it: would you rather look back fondly on a trip to Paris or a new wallet?

6) Experiences can be shared with others

Like relationships, activities and experiences can be shared. Getting out and trying new things with family or friends is a great way to have fun together. Plus, you’ll find it much easier to relate to people about shared experiences.

In comparison, you’re going to have a very hard time sharing your new car or purse with anyone! The same principle applies when you look at vacations; they are much more likely to create lasting memories than any other type of purchase.

7) There are opportunities to meet new people

People experience life differently, and they have different values and motivations. When you surround yourself with people who are passionate about something, it’s only natural that you’ll develop an interest in those things too.

In fact, one study found that simply talking to someone who is enthusiastic about a topic increases your own enthusiasm for it by an average of 50 percent!

Another study found that listening to someone talk about their favorite book makes us more likely to read that same book or other books by its author.

8) Memories are better than stuff

Experiences make us happier than material goods. Having that new laptop will not bring you as much pleasure as eating at your favorite restaurant.

Experiences create memories and opportunities to interact with people that matter to you.

Furthermore, they have a longer-lasting effect on our well-being than material things.

Think about it: Would you rather look back fondly on a trip to Paris or a new wallet?

9) Things can be replaced, but experiences cannot

When you buy things, you’re always at risk of them being stolen, damaged, or lost. And even if they don’t meet any of those fates, they will eventually go out of style and need to be replaced.

But experiences can never be taken away from you. No one can steal your memories, and they will never go out of style.

In fact, the only way experiences can be taken away from us is if we don’t take the time to have them in the first place!

10) People are more important than things

Living in an experience-driven world rather than a materialistic one is less about what you have and more about who you spend your time with.

One of life’s great paradoxes is that sometimes investing in things leads to experiences, while other times letting go of things opens up space for new experiences to enter your life.

Whatever you do, make sure it puts people first—family, friends, colleagues, etc.—and less emphasis on things. It’ll be worth it.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a surefire way to boost your happiness, set aside money for life experiences and put experiences ahead of material goods.

Whether you’re saving up for an upcoming vacation or planning your dream wedding, investing in these moments will have a lasting impact on your happiness.

And when it comes to investing in yourself and your future, experiences are always better than things.

Rebecca

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