Materialism continues to fuel our society into higher levels of depression, debt, selfishness, and stress. In the digital age we live in today, the materialistic life is promoted and advertised in the commercials we watch, social media platforms we use, and video games we play.
We are literally taught to want more and more, until it never seems to be good enough. We see our neighbor buy that new truck, so now we feel we need to get one. We see our favorite actor on the red carpet with a nice watch, we want that watch. We see a 2-for-1 deal and just can’t help ourselves.
Materialism isn’t good for our physical health, mental health, or our social health, yet we continue to drown ourselves in materials.
Why Materialistic People Are Generally Unhappy
When your life is consumed by materialism, you expect objects and things to make you happy. You hype yourself up over that new video game or shoe that’s coming up until you just can’t wait anymore. The second it’s available, you purchase it.
Unfortunately, that hype won’t last forever. You’re going to get bored of that game eventually, it might break, maybe it’s not what you hoped it would be. Whatever the case may be, that excitement will fade out and you will be right back to feeling empty.
Until that new thing comes out and you obsess over that — just to fall in the same cycle all over again.
It never ends. Things are made to eventually break, that way we are back into “shopper” mode. We see new shoes every season, new phones, computers, TV’s, everything always evolving, but it just never seems to be evolving fast enough for us.
It’s Okay to Want
We’re not going to lie, money can buy happiness — of course it can. But this happiness is almost always temporary and should never be relied on to support long-term benefits. We need to teach ourselves that the things we own don’t define us, they’re just possessions that hold no deep meaning to us.
Reducing materialism isn’t easy, but it’s worth the benefits to your well-being. Don’t view materials as a need. They can most definitely be a want, but only if you believe they will provide a more quality life experience. If it doesn’t, then don’t bother with it.
It’s okay to want, but it shouldn’t be dependent on what others have or what others want. Being true to yourself takes a lot of character strength. It involves creating your own goals, forming your own judgements, and making your own decisions. When you allow yourself to constantly be persuaded by ads, celebrities, and peer pressure, you begin to push away who you really are.
Let Go Of Materialism: Finding Joy in the Simpler Things
I always use a simple method when I come across a want or what I might think is a need. If I want to buy something, I write it down on a list and mark the date it was written. I don’t allow myself to purchase that item for at least one month. After a month has passed, if it’s still something I want, I buy it.
This gives me enough time to measure how badly I really want it — opposed to more natural ways of finding happiness like hiking, picnics, and camping.
We don’t always need to succumb to the materialistic lifestyle, we just need to find a healthy balance between what we want and what we need.