Do Money and Possessions Necessarily Bring Happiness?

Money and possessions do not necessarily bring happiness, according to Dr. Jeremy Dean of PsyBlog. Material possessions may fulfill immediate needs or desires, but people must find happiness in doing meaningful work or in relationships.

As Dean points out, there is not a large connection between material possessions and happiness. Money satisfies immediate needs such as shelter, food and comfort, but these do not provide long-term happiness. Because of this, a person who relies purely on possessions to bring happiness is likely to experience only small bursts of satisfaction rather than constant and fulfilling contentment. A house may provide a place to live, but simply owning the house is not enough; the owner of the house must fill that home with people he loves to achieve happiness. Studies show that money only makes people happy if they feel they have more of it than the people around them. People who earn a great deal also tend not to spend their earnings or time on things that make them happy; instead, they are likely to focus more on work and on earning even more.

Also according to Dr. Dean, material possessions even have the potential to cause unhappiness. Psychological and scientific studies have shown that people who buy things just because they want them or feel like they should have them tend to experience less happiness and satisfaction with life.