The Science Of Why You Should Spend Your Money On Experiences, Not Things


You don’t have infinite money. Spend it on stuff that research says makes you happy.


Most people are in the pursuit of happiness. There are economists who think happiness is the best indicator of the health of a society. We know that money can make you happier, though after your basic needs are met, it doesn’t make you that much happier. But one of the biggest questions is how to allocate our money, which is (for most of us) a limited resource.

There’s a very logical assumption that most people make when spending their money: that because a physical object will last longer, it will make us happier for a longer time than a one-off experience like a concert or vacation. According to recent research, it turns out that assumption is completely wrong.

“One of the enemies of happiness is adaptation,” says Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who has been studying the question of money and happiness for over two decades. “We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.”

So rather than buying the latest iPhone or a new BMW, Gilovich suggests you’ll get more happiness spending money on experiences like going to art exhibits, doing outdoor activities, learning a new skill, or traveling.

Gilovich’s findings are the synthesis of psychological studies conducted by him and others into the Easterlin paradox, which found that money buys happiness, but only up to a point. How adaptation affects happiness, for instance, was measured in a study that asked people to self-report their happiness with major material and experiential purchases. Initially, their happiness with those purchases was ranked about the same. But over time, people’s satisfaction with the things they bought went down, whereas their satisfaction with experiences they spent money on went up.

It’s counterintuitive that something like a physical object that you can keep for a long time doesn’t keep you as happy as long as a once-and-done experience does. Ironically, the fact that a material thing is ever present works against it, making it easier to adapt to. It fades into the background and becomes part of the new normal. But while the happiness from material purchases diminishes over time, experiences become an ingrained part of our identity.

“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods,” says Gilovich. “You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.”

One study conducted by Gilovich even showed that if people have an experience they say negatively impacted their happiness, once they have the chance to talk about it, their assessment of that experience goes up. Gilovich attributes this to the fact that something that might have been stressful or scary in the past can become a funny story to tell at a party or be looked back on as an invaluable character-building experience.

Another reason is that shared experiences connect us more to other people than shared consumption. You’re much more likely to feel connected to someone you took a vacation with in Bogotá than someone who also happens to have bought a 4K TV.

“We consume experiences directly with other people,” says Gilovich. “And after they’re gone, they’re part of the stories that we tell to one another.”

And even if someone wasn’t with you when you had a particular experience, you’re much more likely to bond over both having hiked the Appalachian Trail or seeing the same show than you are over both owning Fitbits.

You’re also much less prone to negatively compare your own experiences to someone else’s than you would with material purchases. One study conducted by researchers Ryan Howell and Graham Hill found that it’s easier to feature-compare material goods (how many carats is your ring? how fast is your laptop’s CPU?) than experiences. And since it’s easier to compare, people do so.

“The tendency of keeping up with the Joneses tends to be more pronounced for material goods than for experiential purchases,” says Gilovich. “It certainly bothers us if we’re on a vacation and see people staying in a better hotel or flying first class. But it doesn’t produce as much envy as when we’re outgunned on material goods.”

Gilovich’s research has implications for individuals who want to maximize their happiness return on their financial investments, for employers who want to have a happier workforce, and policy-makers who want to have a happy citizenry.

“By shifting the investments that societies make and the policies they pursue, they can steer large populations to the kinds of experiential pursuits that promote greater happiness,” write Gilovich and his coauthor, Amit Kumar, in their recent article in the academic journal Experimental Social Psychology.

If society takes their research to heart, it should mean not only a shift in how individuals spend their discretionary income, but also place an emphasis on employers giving paid vacation and governments taking care of recreational spaces.

“As a society, shouldn’t we be making experiences easier for people to have?” asks Gilovich.






I love my mornings. Waking up after a deep sleep. Working out on an empty stomach, showering while pretending that im at an outside shower at my own casa located on a private tropical island, then making myself my banana chocolate icecream and devouring them. Thats my kinda morning :).

10 Surprising Health Benefits of Walking Barefoot



Also called “earthing” or “grounding,” the simple act of walking barefoot offers so many benefits that often get overlooked by mainstream society pushing the importance of wearing shoes at all times. According toDr. Mercola, walking with your feet directly touching the soil allows your body to absorb negative electrons through the Earth, which helps to stabilize daily cortisol rhythm and create a balanced internal bioelectrical environment.

We have lost much of our connection with Mother Earth due to modern living, but making an effort to spend more time barefoot in nature can provide more benefits than you would think.

Here are 10 more health benefits of walking barefoot:

1. Walking barefoot can reduce pain and inflammation.

In this study, twelve people slept on a conductive mattress pad that mimicked the effects of sleeping directly on the Earth for eight weeks straight. All the participants complained of pain, stress, and trouble sleeping. After the test period, scientists discovered a considerable reduction in their cortisol levels, and all subjects reported that their pain, stress, and sleep troubles had either been greatly reduced or disappeared entirely.

2. It can help improve your sleep.

Another study in PubMed revealed that earthing influences physiologic processes and induces relaxation. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine also reported that people who had been exposed to grounding had a better night’s sleep compared with those who did not walk barefoot regularly. Earthing is believed to stabilize circadian rhythms, which explains why many people experience a better night’s sleep.

3. Walking barefoot strengthens the immune system.

In this comprehensive report published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, researchers found that walking barefoot can actually decrease white blood cell count and increase red blood cell count, indicating a positive immune response.

4. Walking barefoot can reduce the risk of heart disease.

According to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, earthing increases the surface charge of red blood cells. This results in the reduction of clumping in the cells, which therefore decreases blood thickness. Since high viscosity has been directly linked as a risk factor in heart disease, earthing therefore reduces the risk of heart disease significantly.

5. Walking barefoot regulates the nervous system, decreasing feelings of anxiety and stress.

Going outside in general can help regulate emotions and balance the nervous system, but letting your body come in contact with the soil directly decreases anxiety and stress even more. Since the Earth carries a negative charge with it, and we have a positive charge due to all the electromagnetic waves we come in contact with daily, spending time connecting with Earth is vital to your emotional and physical health.

6. It helps normalize biological rhythms.

In the book Earthing by Clint Ober, Dr. Stephen Sinatra MD, and Martin Zucker, the authors explain that “…the biological clock of the body needs to be continually calibrated by the pulse of the Earth that governs the circadian rhythms of all life on the planet.”

Earthing helps to reestablish regular sleeping patterns and resets the biological clock within us all. Environmental pollution, including lights, chemicals, and other factors, greatly affects our sleeping patterns, so coming in contact with Earth’s negatively charged electrons can help immensely with your body’s circadian rhythm and other biological processes.

7. Walking barefoot can even lessen the severity of menstrual cramps!

Because grounding reduces overall pain, it should come as no surprise that walking barefoot can ease menstrual cramps, as well. In a sense, all pain we feel within the body first begins in the mind and manifests as stress, which can greatly impact menstrual cramps. Going outdoors and letting your bare feet grace the Earth does wonders for the body, mind, and soul; many pain pills are sold specifically for women with cramps, but earthing provides the same benefits without the side effects, plus, it’s totally free.

8. Walking barefoot helps loosen tense muscles and even eliminate headaches.

A pilot study found that earthing can prevent delayed onset muscle soreness from occurring after engaging in physical exercise, so this can certainly apply to other situations that cause tense muscles, such as working at a desk all day, for example. Migraines have been linked in some instances to prolonged exposure to radiation, and since earthing literally grounds the body and reduces free radicals, it can alleviate headaches as well.

9. Earthing boosts energy levels.

This one might seem obvious by now, but it’s still worth mentioning. Any time you immerse yourself in the natural world, you pick up on the higher frequencies emitted from nature, and therefore increase your own energy levels. Exposure to modern society can definitely affect your vitality, so make sure to spend as much time in nature as you can!

10. It protects the body from dangerous EMF’s (electromagnetic fields).

As we have touched on previously, earthing can reduce the electromagnetic charge within the body and prevent you from the harmful effects of EMF’s. For more information on the incredible ways that walking barefoot can improve your health, consider reading the book Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? In it, you will find studies and other information from doctors, an electrical engineer, and a cardiologist, as well as first hand stories about the benefits of earthing.

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Meat-Free Diets Best for Weight Loss


Physicians Committee Breaking Medical News


A vegetarian or vegan diet is best for weight loss, according to a study published in Eating Behaviors. Researchers assigned participants to one of five diets, vegan, vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, or omnivorous, for six months as part of the New DIETs study. Those assigned to the completely meat-free diets, vegan and vegetarian groups, lost more weight, compared with those following the pesco-vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, and omnivorous diets. Vegetarians and vegans also had high acceptance rates for their assigned diets. This study suggests that offering a meat-free diet to overweight individuals may be the most effective way to promote weight loss.

Moore WJ, McGrievy ME, Turner-McGrievy GM. Dietary adherence and acceptability of five different diets, including vegan and vegetarian diets, for weight loss: The New DIETs study. Eat Behav. 2015;19:33-38.

Fruits and Vegetables Protect Against Hip Fractures



A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may help prevent hip fractures, according to a study published this month in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. Researchers analyzed fruit and vegetable intake from 75,591 men and women as part of the Cohort of Swedish Men (COSM) and the Swedish Mammography Cohort (SMC). Participants who consumed the fewest servings of fruits and vegetables had the greatest risk for hip fractures, compared with those who consumed at least 5 servings per day. The risk for hip fractures decreased as participants consumed more fruits and vegetables, with benefits plateauing after 5 servings. Researchers suspect antioxidant-rich foods may counteract oxidative stress on bones and reduce inflammation. Other nutrients abundant in fruits and vegetables, such as vitamin K, flavonoids, and lycopene, may also contribute to bone health.

Byberg L, Bellavia A, Orsini N, Wolk A, Michaëlsson K. Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of hip fracture: a cohort study of Swedish men and women. J Bone Miner Res. 2015;30:976-984.