Why We Buy Stuff We Don’t Need

Haven’t we all, at one time or another, found ourselves looking at a thing that we’ve just bought and found no reason for its existence in our lives?

We don’t always buy things rationally, but what exactly is the reason for this phenomenon?

Well, there is something called behavioral economics, which is a psychological field where you study the decision-making regarding purchases. So let’s put it this way, you bought something that afterwards made no sense for you to buy. Classical economics have a model of rational action, which says that before you buy anything, you weigh the pros and cons of the of the potential purchases and then base your decision on the one with the best outcome. Behavioral economics, on the other hand, says that this rational decision process rarely happens with people. Humans are complex creatures with emotions and biases and therefore can often make choices which are not in their best interest in the longer run.

When it comes to economics, we have probably made a few (to say the least) confused and irrational decisions. I know I have bought clothes a couple of times that I didn’t need, nor ended up liking. These purchases happened when there was a good deal, blinding me to make a rational choice. I know, I am one of those who loves a good deal. But it really isn’t a good deal if you won’t end up using it.

When it comes to clothes, I now make a point of only buying the items that I instantly like or love and know I will be using.

Actually, many of the choices we make are made under conditions with uncertainty and you’re not aware of every benefit or risk that comes with it. Sometimes, those risks and benefits can also be shifting, making it even harder to choose “right”.

With behavioral economics, you can reach a better understanding of the effects regarding uncertainty in decision-making when it comes to financial savings and consumer purchasing. So try to think before you make your next purchase – is it really something that will be useful or that you really want?

If not, go home and be happy you still have that money left in your wallet. Yay!

This post is also published at https://howtofindinspiration.com/the-blog/

The Benefits of a Gratitude Journal

Remind yourself of the last time you felt truly grateful for something. Was it about a person in your life, being able to run or the kind gesture of a stranger?

Being grateful for something can come in many different shapes and forms. Gratitude is the emotion you express for something you appreciate having or getting. It’s about recognizing the value of something without its monetary worth. It can be described as a spontaneously feeling or an affirmation of goodness, it starts with noticing the good in your life.

The opposite of gratitude – and what one might call “thieves of gratitude” – are narcissism, envy and cynicism. A culture of materialism, which is all about instant gratification, and seeing things as the source of happiness and constantly wanting new stuff is the opposite of being grateful for what you have. (This is bad, in case someone was wondering.)

Although gratitude in itself is a spontaneous emotion, research show that you can live a happier life by consciously make efforts to count your blessings. It is possible to train your brain to experience this wonderful feeling – and there are several personal and social benefits to do so. Yay!

You can feel grateful for your life in general, having a job and a stable income, your family, your pet (well ok – I know they’re family), colleagues, friends, nature and your health. This gratitude will impact your life, both on the inside and on the outside.

Appreciation boosts your happiness and will make a difference for both your physical and mental health. This applies even to those who might struggle with depression, or other mental issues. Over time, the effects of gratitude will snowball and, in a way, pay itself forward. Amazing, right?!

So go ahead – start a gratitude journal.

Write down three things each day that you are grateful for, no matter how big or small. Do this every day.

If you do it in the evening before going to bed you’ll probably sleep better since you’re focused on what’s made you happy during the day, instead of the stressful things that might have occurred.

What are you grateful for today?

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What to do When Stuck at Home

Most of us have now experienced the toll that social distancing has taken on our minds. Although you feel like you would really, really love to get out and visit your friends and family, that may not be realistic and safe. In my previous blog post I wrote about not going insane and you may recognize some of my ideas from that post, but let me present to you a longer, more varied list to help you stay sane.

So if you’re stuck at home, here is a list of things you can do in the meantime:

Read good books. I mean, what would be the point of reading bad books? None, really. Some of my favorite books include How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People by Elizabeth B. Brown (not that I’m living with a screwed-up person – it’s just an interesting book on how to handle difficult ones).

Watch good video clips. Like on YouTube, or why not Ted Talks. There are tons of inspiring stuff out there, no need to watch depressing sh*t.

Take naps. They are awesome. If you’ve got nothing better to do, the nap is here for you.

Make a kick-ass playlist with your favorite songs and dance around your house.

Take a shower/bath. It will relax you and help you feel less stressed about being stuck. Just try not to think too much about being stuck.

Clean. Everything.

Yes – even those drawers where you put all of your utensils. If you have a big house you could be occupied for weeks. Make sure you get every single speck of dust.

Play with a pet. Doesn’t even have to be your own.

Bake stuff. Bread, cookies, cakes. Maybe you’ll start a bakery when this is all over.

Rearrange furniture. You could basically, perhaps, live in a new house by the time you’re allowed to have friends over again.

Video chat with loved ones.

Experiment with make-up. And hair styles. But maybe don’t do anything radical you might regret, like cutting your hair yourself.

Sing for your neighbors. You know, this is the perfect time. Since social distancing is advised the literally cannot force you to stop. So go on, use those pipes!

Create your own workout program. It can be as ridiculous as you choose. The important thing is to get moving and up from the comfy couch.

Have spa nights. Self-care, people! It’s more important than ever. And you can do it over and over and over again.

While you’re at it, light those candles up!

Make lists of what you’re going to do when all of this is over.

There you have it! And if you do want a good book to read you can always download the digital version of How to Find Inspiration right here:

Take care and stay safe!

You can get the e-book of How to Find Inspiration here: https://payhip.com/b/2n4a

This article is also published at https://howtofindinspiration.com/