Published: 09 September 2015 by: Ginny Cumming

The key to happiness? In essence: do, not have; photo: New York, Jerry Ferguson – Flickr

We knew it. The key to happiness is through experiences, rather than things – and we recently came across research from Cornell University in New York that confirms it.

Led by Dr Thomas Gilovich, the two-decade study basically says this: you can buy stuff that makes you happy, but it will only make you happy for a while. Then you adapt to it, the novelty wears off and any happiness derived from said stuff dwindles.

On the other hand, you can do stuff that makes you happy, and that happiness actually increases as time passes – because those experiences become a part of you and shape your identity.

So when you’re tossing up between a painfully expensive new handbag and a trip to NYC, remember that carrying extraordinary memories around is more likely to bring you long-term happiness than simply carrying stuff around.

 

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