Science confirms that booking a yoga retreat will make you happier
We all like buying things, at least we think we do. We are trained into it. Life in the 21st century is a fast-paced, consumer-oriented experience where media imagery surrounds us at all times, enforcing the idea that happiness is a matter of buying the perfect house, driving the best car, wearing the trendiest clothes and posting regular status updates on our next generation devices.
Yet worldwide increases in wealth and a global abundance of material goods have not brought about corresponding increases in well-being.
This ‘paradox of possessions’ has led scientists to ask if there are ways people might spend their hard-earned income to get a more gratifying return on their money.
A 20-year study conducted by Dr Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University, reached a powerful and straightforward conclusion: don’t spend your money on things. Spend it on experiences.
Gilovich has spent several decades studying what makes us happy. His studies have added to a growing body of research showing that “experiential purchases” overwhelmingly bring people more satisfaction and happiness than “material purchases” and possessions.
The psychological benefits start as soon as the purchase decision is made, extend through the experience and then increase after the experience has passed. The joy and memories of experiences, from epic adventures to minute encounters, can last a lifetime.
In contrast, people’s satisfaction with the things they buy quickly diminishes and continues to decrease until it’s gone.
It also transpires that buying experiences has positive effects not just for you but also for wider society, bringing about:
a) Greater long-term well-being and happiness
b) Improved social relationships
c) Enhanced gratitude
d) Increased altruism, giving and generosity
Spending on experiences, and yes, that includes yoga holiday is a scientifically proven win-win way to spend your hard earned cash!
*okay, so they don’t specifically mention yoga retreats, but they do confirm that choosing experiences over things will bring you lasting happiness in a way that material goods never will.
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