Materialism

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The More Stuff We Have, The Less Joy We Feel

As a therapist I often see people searching for fulfillment and meaning in their lives. Many people come into my office trying to figure out why they have so many beautiful things in their lives, but are unable to enjoy life. They often seek therapy because they are feeling unsettled and unhappy. This seems to not just be an individual struggle, but a societal struggle as well. It appears that as a society we have an abundance -- but we are struggling with high levels of depression and left feeling unsatisfied despite all of the beautiful stuff we surround ourselves with .
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This Christmas, Let's Spend Money On Things That Matter

When was the exact moment that Christmas became synonymous with buying stuff I do not know, but it seems that we've reached a point of gifting no-return. The idea of simply spending Christmas with your family without the obligatory spending and consumption is not even a possibility. If you're an average person living in a Western nation you can be pretty confident that your intended gift-receiver already has everything he or she needs and most likely lives a year where their other superfluous wants are often met.
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Your Values Affect the Environment

Across cultures and regardless of age and gender, people whose values centre on social position and accumulation of money and possessions actually face a greater risk of unhappiness, including anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. People who are materialistic also tend to be less interested in ecological issues, have negative attitudes toward the environment and demonstrate fewer instances of sustainable behaviour. That's a tragedy for humanity and the rest of life on Earth.

The Higher the GDP, the Unhappier the Country

As it turns out, countries with low GDP ranked high in the HPI and had smaller eco-footprints compared with nations with high GDP that ranked low in the HPI and had larger eco-footprints per capita. Evidently material wealth does not equate with happiness, but instead creates more waste and pollution.