When Is Enough, Enough?
So why do so many of us waste our money buying stuff we don’t really want or need?
According to ‘statista’, the average UK credit card debt rose by 12% for the decade leading to 2016 ~ that’s, more than £2,500 for each of the 25-million homes in Britain.
It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out true happiness cannot be bought. But, it is more achievable by learning to be grateful for what we have and comes through releasing ourselves from the insipid grip of marketing, which persuades far too many of us to part with our cash to feel better, look more beautiful, be more admired or appear more trendy.
Many people who returned to a minimalist lifestyle say they've been able to reduce the amount of time they spend at work as well as the money they pay to live. They redirected those savings into creative pursuits and taking care of their health, which greatly added to their feeling of happiness and life satisfaction.
Buying stuff per se is never the problem! Buying stuff that isn’t necessary is!
If we are honest with ourselves, the accumulation of stuff is symptomatic of a void in our life. More often than not, we are silently seeking more meaning to our life.
Here are 10-ways to fulfill more authentic emotional and spiritual needs. Learn them on your road that does not involve shopping.
1) Spend Money on Activities, Not Stuff ~ well-documented research reveals spending money on 'togetherness' not only generates greater gratitude than spending money on material stuff, it motivates greater generosity, too. Happy memories of people are timeless.
2) Nightly Gratitude ~ having a gratitude jar the family can use opens up inter-communication. Simply encourage everyone to write an honest note each evening and pop it in the jar. At least once a week, over a family meal, read each note out loud asking the author to explain, as necessary. It is critical no-one comment for or against any content as it is must stand as a testimony for all the family to learn and grow from each member.
3) Meditation / Prayer ~ practicing regular, daily self-awareness demonstrates we are actively living in ‘the moment’. Setting oneself apart in a tranquil environment, some cultures use a mantra to acquire and maintain inner peace, but calming music, a pleasant aroma, a cool breeze or loving thoughts can achieve good karma, too.
4) Always Give Praise ~ research shows that praising someone for what they did, rather than how you felt about what they did, is extremely well received. This emphasis instills a feeling of well-being in the other person generating more affection toward the person giving such personal appreciation.
5) Be Mindful of Non-verbal Indicators ~ smiling at others when we greet them and more readily hugging those closest to us are sincere ways to express true gratitude, encouragement, excitement, empathy, and support. Such physical contact needs to be respectfully directed but will always strengthen inner experience.
6) Taking Our Own Medicine ~ when we make recommendations for someone else, we are rarely emotionally involved in that decision. It is this emotional detachment from an ‘event’ that allows us to make a more rational decision. To improve our own positive over negative decision-making, keep in mind the question, "What would I recommend if I were someone else?" and then immediately act on that advice.
7) Let Go Negativity ~ without the trappings of the so-called modern world, our ancestors more ably saw events neither as good nor bad but simply as they were. It is predominantly our responses to events that determine our attitude toward them, not necessarily what actually took place. As little as 4% of all our lifetime ‘problems’ have any lasting consequence. Que sera, sera!
8) Appreciate Every Meal ~ adopting a ritual appreciation at each meal is a cathartic way to flex our ‘gratitude attitude’ every single day. While each meal is an opportunity to honour a spiritual connection with divinity, it doesn’t have to turn it into a religious monologue. Simply say, "Thank you for the time and effort that went into producing, transporting and preparing this food before me and I ask a blessing upon those less fortunate."
9) Write Thank-You Notes ~ opportunities abound every day to acknowledge the good actions of those who made our journey through it more pleasant. A family member, a friend, a colleague or boss, the traffic cop, that charming shop or kiosk assistant or an Internet delivery. When was the last time you took a moment to write a note or send an email or text or Internet thank you?
10) Keep a Journal ~ every few days we need to take stock of what made us feel good, together with how it made you feel. We can also note what we learned from any challenging experiences with some people we met or unfortunate things that happened to us. Getting our emotions on paper is highly beneficial.
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