Looking for happiness after loss can be a challenge, but one way to renew happiness might be in finding new experiences that build memories to share with family and friends.

In a recent article titled The Science of Why You Should Spend Your Money on Experiences and Not Things   author Jay Cassano says if you are looking for happiness, spend your money and your time finding new experiences rather than on buying material things.

Researchers looking at how people spend their money to make themselves happier have found that when we spend money on the big car, the fanciest house, that designer pair of shoes, we have momentary joy which lasts for a little while. Then, over time, as we get used to whatever it is we’ve bought, it doesn’t delight us the way it did originally.

When we purchase an experience however, a trip, a special night out, attending a concert, the anticipation of the event helps build happiness.  Then, when the experience is over, memories remain, lasting over time and years later can bring pleasure at their recollection.

One of the great benefits of choosing experiences over material things is that you tend to share experiences with other people, either in the moment or discussing it later, which helps build social connections and psychological well-being.  The new car or fancy shoes are great too, just generally possessions don’t result in more social connections. We know from our experiences at Widowed Friends that getting together sharing life stories and events with like-minded people helps rebuild lives and promotes well-being.

We think Widowed Friends (WF) provides lots of new experiences for people who may not be as socially active as they once were. It offers the chance to meet new friends, enjoy a meal out at lots of different restaurants,  take a walk with the group, go to the movies or go bowling.  Even if you are out and about a lot, being part of a friendly, welcoming group like WF can only add to your pleasurable experiences.

The best thing about focusing on new experiences is that they can bring you new perspectives on your life and open up paths to renewing your mind and spirit. So let us know what you think – do you have big trips planned that you would never have dreamed of a few years ago?  Has collecting experiences enhanced your life?  Let us know in the comments box below.