Featured

Spending Money On Experiences Instead Of Things Will Make You Much Happier

They say that money can't buy happiness, and I've always had a problem with that thought. Money can definitely buy you happiness, but it's about how you utilize money. If you use money to pack your house full of top of the line stuff, all you have is a bunch of distracting or comfortable stuff. But if you use your money to pay for experiences, that's another story.

When you're about to kick the bucket, what will diamonds and plasma TVs mean to you? Will they matter at all? Or will the experiences you had with your loved ones bring a smile to your face? That super awesome show you went to with your wife or that awesome vacation your family took to Alaska. Your bike ride across the United States or hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. It's not just a bunch of hippy-dippy babble on my part. A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology actually shows that people who purchased expensive products saw an immediate devaluation of the item's worth right after buying. But that wasn't the case with experimental investments.

Those researchers found that people do get that life is about creating memories, but we get so caught up in trends and modern day demands that we cave and buy the newest crap. Their study found that people would much rather put money toward having experiences rather than having stuff, and that they almost always immediately regretted buying expensive, trendy things.

Additional research from Cornell University shows that Millennials are more tempted to make purchases based on society's influence - things like new phones and the hottest clothes. But it's not their fault. They're products of society, just as much as the products they buy are products of society. We're so constantly enveloped in social media. Everyone is intensely focused on self promotion. There's nearly no end to it all.

"We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while," says Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a professor of psychology at Cornell University. "New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them."

Which isn't to say you shouldn't treat yourself to the newest gadget if you've done well at work or in life, but understand that you shouldn't expect to derive any kind of long-term joy from it.

"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."

In the end, the point is that we should consider utilizing the money we have in life to pay for having amazing experiences with the people we love. Do the things you truly want to do. Live fully. And hopefully, at the end of your life, you'll be able to smile back on all of it.

Relationships

Here's Why It Is Completely Fine To Cut Out Family Members From Your Life

In my opinion, there is nothing more challenging and heartbreaking than having to end the connection and distance yourself from a loved one.

Family ties are some of the strongest bonds anyone has in their entire life. Whether you are family by blood or family by choice, everyone has certain people they consider to be family.

Family is supposed to always be there for you and you never expect your family to hurt you. However, some family members can be more destructive and damaging than anyone else.

When this sacred bond is broken, it can leave a lasting wound. The truth is, some people are simple too toxic for you to be around and you need to move on without them.

Don't be ashamed for deciding to put yourself first. Never put your physical, mental, or emotional well-being on the line just because someone is "family."

So, how do you know how to spot a toxic family member? Pay attention for these five warning signs!

1. They feed off drama.

Have you ever decided to turn to family member for some advice or shared some of your deepest fears with someone you trusted? You expose your vulnerabilities in hopes to receive some sort of assistance in a time of need.

Then you find out they have completely betrayed you and now everyone knows your secrets. This is the ultimate betrayal, especially when it comes from a close family member or trusted friend.

2. They judge you.

Constructive criticism is extremely healthy and a required part of every relationship. However, repeated, aggressive, and degrading criticism can affect a person's self-confidence on a very deep level.

Family members that are overly judgmental and controlling are definitely toxic and you have no need to feel bad about removing yourself from their presence.

3. They are only there for you if it somehow benefits them.

A toxic family member will only decide to help you if they have something to gain. Normally, they will come to you for advice or assistance, but as soon as you give them what they need, they will choose to distance themselves from you once again.

What happens when you need their support and love? They're no where to be found. They know how to manipulate you.

4. They go back and forth between positive and negative comments.

One moment they're praising you and supporting your efforts and the next they're insulting you and judging every move you make.

They can't tolerate it when you ignore their efforts, so they do everything in their power to regain control of your attention. It is nearly impossible for them to give up their manipulative behavior.

5. They often use a nefarious manipulation technique, referred to as gaslighting.

If you know someone who claims that they never did or said something when you and everyone else around know that's a lie... you are being gaslighted.

Gaslighting is a technique based on planting seeds of doubt in the mind of the victim in an attempt to make them feel helpless and question their own sanity and memory.

Chances are, you might have a family member that matches the description above. If so, they are a threat to your mental health. Toxic relationships, even with family and friends, can have a major impact on your overall wellbeing.

Just because you have identified a toxic relationship, that doesn't mean you should give up on that person. There are many things you can do to make a toxic family member more tolerable.

However, the best solution will always be to remove them from your life. It is not always an easy task, especially if that toxic person is a parent.

If the situation has escalated to a point where it has become impossible for you to be happy, then you have no choice but to eliminate that person from your life.

No matter how beneficial removing this person from your life might have been, there will still be feeling of guilt, loss, pain and doubt about the decision.

You must be willing to make this sacrifice in order to protect your emotions. Sometimes you have to experience pain to protect yourself. You will also need time to recover and heal.

Remember to always take care of yourself! If you found this article helpful, please don't be afraid to SHARE it with your family and friends on Facebook!