13 Ways To Find Happiness Beyond Material Possessions (2024)

We all know the saying, “money can’t buy happiness.”

And yet, so many of us continue to chase after material possessions in the hopes that they will make us happy.

But the truth is, material possessions will never truly make us happy. Sure, they may bring us a momentary sense of joy, but that joy quickly fades away and leaves us wanting more.

If we want to find true happiness, we need to look beyond material possessions.

But how do you find happiness beyond material possessions?

We answer that in this article. This article will discuss 13 ways to find happiness beyond material possessions.’

Here’s what you’ll learn:

Let’s get right into it.

What are Material Possessions?

Anything that you own is referred to as material possessions. This could be your house, car, furniture, clothes, etc.

For most people, their material possessions are a big part of their lives. We work hard to acquire them, and we take pride in owning them.

But do material possessions make one happy? Are they important? We answer that in the next section.

Can Material Possessions Make you Happy?

Most people believe that certain material possessions will make them happy. These people will spend their hard-earned money on things like a new car, a bigger house, or the latest gadgets.

But what they don’t realize is that these things are only temporary. The happiness they feel lasts only for a short while until they get used to the new item.

Then they start wanting something else, and the cycle continues.

To these people, more material possessions equal more happiness. This thought process results in most of these people being unsatisfied with life and always wanting more.

However, that’s not the case with everyone

A recent study by Binghamton University found that people who view material possessions as a sign of success rather than their vehicle to happiness tend to have more satisfying lives.

So, what does this mean?

It means that it’s not the material possessions themselves that make us happy but our perception of them.

If we see them as a way to find happiness, then we will be disappointed. But if we see them as a sign of success, we will be content.

It’s all about our mindset.

This doesn’t mean that we should stop acquiring material possessions. It just means that we should change our perception of them. We should see them as a sign of our hard work and not as a way to find happiness.

“But what other ways can I find happiness other than through material possessions?”

Keep reading to learn more.

Ways to find hapiness beyond material possessions

13 Ways To Find Happiness Beyond Material Possessions

#1. Through Experiences

One of the best ways to find happiness is through experiences.

This could be anything from going on a trip to hiking a new trail. Experiences are great because they give us memories that we can look back on and cherish for a lifetime.

And unlike material possessions, we can’t lose them or have them stolen from us.

What’s more, experiences tend to get better with time. The older we get, the more wisdom and knowledge we can apply to new experiences. This allows us to get more out of them.

So, rather than living vicariously through other people, why not create your happiness using your experiences.

#2. Through Relationships

Another great way to find happiness is through relationships.

This could be anything from spending time with family and friends to volunteering in your community.

Relationships are important because they give us a sense of connection and belonging. They remind us that we are not alone in this world.

However, not every relationship is the same.

An unsatisfying relationship could leave you unhappy and dissatisfied.

However, a satisfying relationship with friends, family, or a spouse can lead to a happy and fulfilling life.

It’s vital to find relationships that make you feel good about yourself and happy. These are the types of relationships that are worth your time and energy.

#3. Through Helping Others

Another great way to find happiness is through helping others.

This could be anything from volunteering at a local soup kitchen to mentoring a young person.

Helping others is important because it makes us feel good about ourselves. It gives us a sense of purpose and meaning in life.

And it doesn’t have to be a big gesture. Even the smallest act of kindness can make someone’s day and make you feel good about yourself.

So, if you’re looking for ways to find happiness, consider helping others. It’s a great way to make a difference in the world and your own life.

#4. Through Hobbies

Another great way to find happiness is through hobbies.

This could be anything from playing a musical instrument to collecting stamps.

Hobbies are important because they give us a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. They also provide a creative outlet for our emotions.

They also give us a chance to engage in activities that we enjoy and make us feel good.

Hobbies also provide a sense of purpose and can help us to connect with other people who share our interests. Best of all, hobbies can be enjoyed throughout our lives, giving us a source of joy that is always available. 

And unlike material possessions, we can’t lose them or have them stolen from us.

By investing our time and energy in pursuits that we enjoy, we can discover a level of happiness that cannot be found in material possessions.

#5. By Taking on a Challenging Project

One of the most rewarding things you can do is take on a challenging project.

It could be something as simple as learning a new skill or taking on a new hobby. Or it could be something more ambitious, like starting your own business or training for a marathon.

Whatever it is, push yourself outside of your comfort zone and see what you’re capable of. You may be surprised at how good it feels to meet a challenging goal.

Challenging projects are also important because they push us to grow and learn new things. Doing something that stretches us beyond our comfort zone also helps us feel alive and fulfilled.

It can also provide a sense of purpose and direction. When we set our sights high and go after our goals with determination, we are more likely to experience a sense of satisfaction and achievement.

Related: 31 Signs You’ve Sold Your Soul And How To Get It Back

#6. By Connecting with Nature

Another way to find happiness beyond material possessions is by connecting with nature.

This could be anything from taking a walk in the park to camping in the mountains.

Nature is essential because it reminds us of the beauty and wonder of the world around us. It can help us appreciate the simple things in life while creating a feeling of peace and tranquility.

Nature can also provide a sense of connection, reminding us that we are part of something larger than ourselves.

And it can be a great source of inspiration, helping us find new ideas and perspectives.

So, if you’re looking for ways to find happiness beyond material possessions, consider connecting with nature. It’s a great way to find peace, inspiration, and a sense of connection.

Happiness beyond material possessions
Photo by Andre Furtado

#7. By Getting Rid of Clutter

One of the simplest and most effective ways to find happiness is to declutter your life.

Material possessions often come with a lot of baggage, both literal and figurative.

They can take up physical space in your home, creating a feeling of cramped quarters. They can also weigh you down emotionally, serving as reminders of past failures or missed opportunities.

When you let go of material possessions, you make space for new experiences and new people in your life.

You also open yourself up to finding joy in everyday moments rather than chasing after material things that will never truly satisfy you.

When we declutter, we can also take the opportunity to donate items to those who may need them more than we do. This helps to add a sense of meaning and purpose to our lives, leading to lasting happiness.

Wondering how to start decluttering?

Start with small items that are easy to let go of, such as clothes you no longer wear or books you no longer read. Then gradually work your way up to bigger items, such as furniture or appliances.

If an item has sentimental value, try to find a way to enjoy it without keeping it in your home. For example, you could take a picture of the item and frame it or donate it to someone who will appreciate it more than you do.

Remember that the goal is not to get rid of everything you own. Instead, the goal is to find a balance between the material and the non-material things in your life.

By decluttering your life, you can make room for what really matters and find happiness beyond material possessions.

Related: Extreme Minimalism – 21 Examples And Guide

#8. By Being Physically Active

Another great way to find happiness is by being physically active. Physical activity releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects.

It can also help reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and increase energy levels.

Plus, it’s a great way to stay healthy and fit. And when we’re healthy and fit, we’re more likely to feel good about ourselves and our lives.

And here’s the best part!

There are tons of things you can do to be physically active. You could join a gym, take up hiking, start running, or try a new sport.

You don’t have to do anything strenuous or time-consuming. Just find an activity that you enjoy and make it part of your routine.

Workout as a source of happiness beyond material possessions
Photo by Gustavo Fring

#9. By Spending Time with Loved Ones

Another way to find happiness is by spending time with loved ones.

Whether it’s friends, family, or a romantic partner, the people we care about can significantly impact our happiness.

Research has shown that social interaction is essential for mental and emotional well-being. Spending time with those you care about can help reduce stress levels, promote positive emotions, and boost self-esteem.

In other words, happiness comes from human connection, not from acquiring material possessions.

So, the next time you’re feeling down, instead of reaching for your wallet, reach for your phone and call a friend or family member. Chances are, you’ll feel much better afterward.

#10. By Having Shorter Commute Hours

If you feel stressed and unhappy with your work, try shorter commute hours.

A long commute can take a toll on your mental and emotional well-being. It can leave you feeling drained, anxious, and irritable.

And don’t just take my word for it.

A study from the University of the West of England found that adding twenty minutes to your commute could make you miserable at work.

Part of the reason why people may choose longer commutes is to allow them to afford bigger houses. But, as we’ve already established, material possessions won’t make you happy.

So, if you feel stressed out from your commute, consider looking for a job closer to home.

You may have to sacrifice a bigger house or a higher salary, but your mental and emotional well-being is worth it.

If looking for a new job is too much you could try working from home for one or two days a week.

By shortening your commute, you can reduce stress and find more happiness in your work life.

#11. By Gaining the Respect of Those Around You

Gaining the respect of those around you is another excellent way to find happiness. When we feel respected by others, it boosts our self-esteem and makes us feel good about ourselves.

Respect is earned through our actions and our words. It’s not given to us based on our material possessions or social status.

So, if you want to gain the respect of others, focus on being a good person. Be kind, honest, and helpful.

Do your best to live up to your commitments and follow through on your promises. If you do these things, chances are people will respect you.

And when you have the respect of others, you’ll find yourself feeling happier and more content.

#12. By Building a Life of Freedom

Another way to find happiness is by building a life of freedom.

Freedom doesn’t mean having no responsibilities or commitments. It means having the flexibility to do what you want when you want.

It means choosing your hours, working from home, taking extended vacations, and so on.

Of course, not everyone can build a life of complete freedom. But, if you can find ways to add more flexibility and choice into your life, you’ll likely feel happier.

For example, if you’re unhappy with your current job, see if there’s a way you can work from home one or two days a week.

Or, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with your responsibilities, try delegating some of them to others.

By making small changes in your life, you can find more happiness and freedom.

Building a life of freedom isn’t something you do in a day. You may have to sacrifice some of your time initially, but it will be worth it in the end.

And, as you find more happiness and freedom in your life, you’ll be able to enjoy your life more fully.

Related: 11 Ways To Live Consciously

#13. By Working on Improving Yourself

The final way to find happiness is by working on improving yourself.

This doesn’t mean you need to change who you are. It means becoming the best version of yourself. It means taking care of your physical and mental health, developing your skills and talents, and setting goals for yourself.

You could do this by reading self-improvement books, attending workshops and seminars, or working with a life coach or mentor.

When you work on improving yourself, you’ll find that you’re happier and more fulfilled.

You’ll also find that you have more to offer the world. And as a result, you’ll be able to make a positive impact on those around you.

Material possessions don't result in happiness
Photo by Pixabay

FAQs About Finding Happiness Beyond Material Possessions

Are Material Possessions Important?

Yes and No.

Some material possessions are needed for one to live comfortably. Things like a house, a car, and good clothes are essential for one to survive.

However, once a person gets to a certain comfort level, more material possessions stop being important. They can start to have a negative impact on one’s life.

Too much stuff can lead to clutter and disorganization. It can also be a source of stress and anxiety.

So, while some material possessions are important, it’s important not to get caught up in the cycle of consumerism.

Does Minimizing Material Possessions Help One to Be Happy?

It can, but it’s not necessary.

Some people find that they’re happier when they have fewer material possessions. They feel less burdened and freer. Others find that they’re just as satisfied with a lot of stuff. It all depends on the individual.

If you’re not sure whether minimizing your material possessions will help you be happier, try it out and see. There’s no harm in decluttering your life and seeing how it affects you.

Your happiness Doesn’t Have to Come From Material Possessions!

There you go.

Thirteen ways you can find happiness beyond material possessions. Now it’s time for you to start putting these into practice.

Remember, your happiness doesn’t have to come from material possessions. It can come from experiences, relationships, personal growth, and more.

So, start exploring and find what makes you truly happy.

Do you have any tips on how to find happiness beyond material possessions? Share them in the comments below! What are your thoughts on this topic? Leave a comment below and let me know!

And if you have any questions on finding happiness beyond material possessions, please ask them in the comment section below.

I’ll be happy to respond to any question asked.

About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.