The challenge for retailers as we start to emerge from the recession is going to be encouraging people to go back to the shops, when they’ve been spending time learning new crafts, educating themselves, spending quality time with loved ones and even finding new hobbies.
The study discovered that experiences are so effective at making us happy because we truly ''own'' them because they become integrated into our lives and help shape our personalities. "Stuff", on the other hand, can only be possessed and does not become a part of us in a meaningful way. It degrades in time whereas experiences are transformed into memories and appreciated for a lifetime.
Read more about how to be happy in my upcoming book The Joy Gym.