The Simple Trick to Feeling Wealthy Even When You're Not
While we're told time and time again that being rich won't make us happy (science says it's experiences, not things, that boost the inner-joy dial) we can't help but wonder what it would feel like to have all the money in the world. Why can’t we just be rich, happy and successful all at once? Well, there are a few reasons why you're not rich yet, but the main culprit may be that you're spending cash like a millionaire, and let's face it, you probably wouldn't be reading this if you were. So what's the secret to feeling rich even when you're not? Well, we found a few activities that can start adding fulfillment and richness to your life—without spending a dime. So stop complaining and start doing.
Nothing beats cooking a meal with vegetables or herbs handpicked from your own garden. Even if they're not the best-looking or the biggest bunch, the flavor is unbeatable, and the deep feeling of gratitude you have for Mother Nature and the miracle of creation is beyond anything else you could ever imagine—it's why we added it to our bucket list and why urban gardening has become a huge trend. It's a simple and humbling experience that makes you feel rich because it actually is, by saving you money on your grocery bills.
Do you remember that feeling as a child when you hopped on your bike, spun the pedals, and felt the wind in your hair as you sped down the street? That's the feeling of freedom, and it's enough to make anyone feel affluent. Science says it will also make you feel happier. Researchers from Clemson University in South Carolina found commuters who cycle to work are happier and healthier compared to those who took public transport or navigated stressful traffic jams in their cars. But what could be more enriching than a bike ride to the beach or to join friends for a picnic in the park? The answer brings us to our next tip…
There's something nostalgic about the modest picnic, and for good reason. According to an NPR report, the word "picnic" first came into use in the 18th century, and back then, they were grand affairs. Today's picnic blanket certainly wouldn't cut it in the Victorian era, where outdoor gatherings involved tables, linens, crystal, chairs, servants, and gourmet food. Your version doesn't require so much fanfare (although you're more than welcome to re-enact this style for fun), and it certainly shouldn't cost you much either. Make it a potluck, and invite friends to bring along a plate or two. Even the smallest of gatherings can supply a delicious banquet fit for royalty. Good food and great company will make any modern girl feel wealthy.
Saving cash can be hard. Firstly, because you can't buy what you want, and secondly, because it totally crushes your social life. But it doesn't have to. There's plenty of indoor fun to be had with friends, and we guarantee it will transport you back to your house-partying youth. Don't wait for the Oscars to host a viewing party; plan regular themed movie night, and rotate the location among your group of friends. Everyone can bring along their favorite DVD and a snack to share. Or you can compile all your favorites into a Netflix mixtape. One a week, it can be '90s movies; the next, romantic flicks; followed by stylish horror. That feeling of being with friends is worth a million bucks.
For some reason, we seem to leave all our favorite hobbies behind in our adult years, replacing them with work and relationships. Well, if you want to feel abundance in its purest form, find your passion, and make it your hobby on the regular. You watch: It will become your guilty pleasure, and it will even make you smarter. Most of the world's most successful people have hobbies, because hobbies help you wind down and tap into another part of your creative self that you wouldn't normally access. It can be anything from cooking to scrapbooking to photography to surfing.
With the rapid pace at which we live our lives today, it can be easy to get swept up in our own drama. We get it: When your work/life balance is off, your sleep cycle is out of whack, and your finances are looking dire, you certainly won't feel like you're rolling in it. But the reality is very different, because the old adage always rings true—there is always someone worse off than you. Taking a moment out of your busy schedule to volunteer your time and services will not only help a charity in need, it's also be the most rewarding and enriching experience you can have. Seeing real poverty and struggle is humbling, and a reality check that will make even the most moderate income earners feel incredibly blessed and grateful.
The magic of handwriting seems to be lost on a generation of tech tots, but there's nothing more rewarding than opening a letter from a friend and inhaling the smell of fresh ink and paper. It's also incredibly refined, which makes both the sender and receiver feel prosperous and special. Given the global popularity of coloring books for adults and the return of the thank-you note, we can only hope this handwritten-letter trend catches on too.
What simple act makes you feel rich?