Ever find yourself sitting around dreaming of a brand new TV? Or a new computer? According to The Atlantic, those daydreams of expensive things might make you happier than actually buying them.
According to a few studies, the anticipation of buying something is really where we get our joy from. We still get satisfaction from buying something — retail therapy certainly tricks our brain into feeling better — but it's the act of thinking about shopping that really works the best:
"Thinking about acquisition provides momentary happiness boosts to materialistic people, and because they tend to think about acquisition a lot, such thoughts have the potential to provide frequent mood boosts," Richins wrote, "but the positive emotions associated with acquisition are short-lived. Although materialists still experience positive emotions after making a purchase, these emotions are less intense than before they actually acquire a product."
The basic idea here is that the experience of thinking about buying, or even shopping itself, is far more enjoyable than the feelings that follow after we make that purchase. So the next time you're looking for a little happiness boost, try daydreaming about that fancy new graphics you've been eyeing for months instead of actually buying it.