3 Reasons Why Having Less Leads to More Happiness

User-Friendly Tips for Thriving with Greater Passion, Purpose, Place & Meaning

Thrive invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.
Less really can be more. Sometimes the brightest ideas are the most basic like K.I.S.S. (keep it simple silly)!

Our world is like a large wall of neon signs. We see all these messages that shout out: buy me; you must have me; I’m the answer, etc. Temptation is everywhere. And, by design, we’re curious about these signs. Shiny trinkets for our wrists and fingers; fun toys that will let us feel like we’re moving as fast as lightning; and let’s not forget the gismos, gadgets, and adventures that everyone is having. Naturally, we’re drawn to these things, but do we ever stop and consider if we can really afford the buy-in to have them? A lot of times, we don’t.

“Stuff” costs money, and not just dollars and credit card bills. It can also cost us emotional currency, because we may start to see what we own as more valuable than the people in our lives. This is where people become vulnerable to losing their happiness. It’s time to slow down those constant desires to buy “things” and start to invest in yourself and your relationships. There are a million things to experience in this world, and they don’t have to clutter your closet, occupy your garage, or be stacked up on your end table with a ring of dust around them.

Still not convinced? Here are 3 reasons to celebrate how less can be more:

1. Spending money can lead to stress, which shows why “less” can lead to more happiness.

Few things can zap happiness away like knowing that all the money you earn is going toward what you already own. Financial woes are a serious problem for many people, and the cause of personally distressing situations. By finding the happiness that exists in life that is not attached to “stuff,” happy people manage to have many amazing adventures. Better yet, if they decide something is worth saving up for and buying, they find a way to enjoy the journey to the purchase.

2. When you’re less obligated to stuff you have more time to experience life.

Mostly, what we own needs some sort of attention. Cars and homes need maintenance and there are costs associated with them that go beyond that. Even small trinkets, gadgets, and appliances can distract a person. Have you ever gone into your closet and stared at all the stacks of stuff in there, hoping to easily find one small thing you need? It can take 10 minutes or more. If this seems familiar to you, you may have a problem. If you remember that happier people tend not to prefer temporary pleasures over long term happiness, it can help. Next time you’re going to buy something “just because,” stop and think about it from a happiness perspective. How will it add to your life? Then make your decision.

3. Happy people are aware that happiness comes from what’s generated inside, not in their outside environment.

Once you experience what it is like to live a life that is fueled by happiness generated from within you, you’ll never want to go back to the artificial happiness that comes from “stuff.” Through a lens of appreciation for what you have in your life you are best able to make assessments on physical objects more impartially. You’ll more easily accept that if they are not a good addition to your lifestyle, they are not necessary. This type of thought process can become intuitive over time.

If you still are hesitant about parting ways with stuff, take a moment to think about children. They are a great example of how stuff isn’t necessarily exciting. They are at their best when they are using their imagination to create their outcomes. If they want to be a pirate, a stick in the yard is every bit as suitable as a fancy, flashing pirate sword from a store. This type of simplicity is quite beautiful, and it’s meant for adults to enjoy, as well.

You might also like...


Sam Underwood On How We Need To Adjust To The Future Of Work

by Karen Mangia
Daisy Guillen provides thousands of dollars in grants and community support through the Starbucks Foundation in Long Beach, California/Courtesy Daisy Guillen
Civic Engagement and Purpose//

Starbucks Employee Spreads Kindness Across California During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

by Diane Quest

Adapting and Pivoting – Because The World Doesn’t Stop Turning

by Amy Leighton
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.