Buddhism,  Mental Health

Let’s talk about materialism

Today I talk about materialism and how I am trying to stop turning to things for happiness Hey Everybody!

So I think I mentioned this in previous posts, but I was an only child and because I had no siblings I was kind of spoilt. If I wanted something either my parents or my grandparents would make it happen. I was always grateful for this, as a child you have no idea about money or it’s worth and getting presents make you feel happy.

However, as an adult suffering with depression I found myself turning to shops to make me happy. Because of this I have accumulated a lot of things that I do not need, I have spoken before about my DVD collection! There was a time that I loved seeing my things all around me, but over the last year I have come to realise that I do not ‘need’ most of it.

I think it was discovering about tiny homes on You Tube that helped me realise that materialism meant I was outgrowing my home and it was more than enough room for me and my husband. The decision to ‘spring clean’ my life was one that came surprisingly easily and I am thankful for going through with it, though it gave me anxiety.

Over the last couple of years I have been studying Buddhism, and it is important in that philosophy not to hold onto material goods. This can be difficult to put into practice, however I realised that buying new things did not ever help my depression. in fact there were times when it was made worse because I spent too much or regretted what I had bought.

Depression often makes us feel like we are not worth much, and TV ads, movies and celebrities often like to sell us the idea that buying things will make us worth more. However, I have found since starting to move away from this sort of thinking that it feels good to not buy things because of what others tell us we need. I know those shiny new shoes, or purse that celebrities have look good, but do you really need more than one?

It can be tempting to jump into cleaning your house out, I would love to sweep through my house and get rid of the things that no longer serve me, however I suffer with fatigue and I have to be careful. Because of this I chose to concentrate on one room at a time, I started with the room that has all my books, DVDs and collectables.

I decided to go through my things over a few weeks a little at a time, it is important to know your limits and not push yourself too far. I actually took the whole day to sort the room, and I took a nap half way through the day and I made sure I drank a lot of water. I also used my slow cooker to make sure that I ate well and not give in because I was tired and order take out!

I also would stay away from window shopping, I accumulated quite a long wish list on Amazon, but it was just temptation I did not need. Always remember, material goods might feel good in the moment, but they do not measure up to self-worth, you need to be your own best friend and treat yourself to more than just the latest gadget!

Namaste xxx

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2 Comments

  • Kat Gensler-Nic

    This is a great post! I’m not Buddhist, but avoiding materialism is an awesome tip for so many of us to glean. I love the quote from the image: very funny, but very true. I tend to think some retail therapy is going to cure me, but when I have that shopping irfe, I stop and try to think about what other need I am trying to meet. What do I really need? Time in scripture? Time with family? An honest conversation with a friend? Healthy food? An adjustment of my medication? Just some time of quiet? A good cry? A thing is never going to fill me up! And I am already enough! Thanks again for your post!

    • ZombieButterfly

      Hi Kat thank you so much for commenting, I think we all can understand that want to fill up a space in our lives with something unhealthy for us. It is so hard to admit to yourself that you are doing something like buying things just to try and fill a void and to stop doing it. I am trying to find healthy ways of dealing with those feelings and I think so long as we can admit the problem we can get help. Thank you again Beverley x

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