Have you ever wondered how much money we spend every year on consumerism? Buying stuff we don’t need or upgrading stuff we already have in a never ending need to get ahead.
We are taught to be consumers in everything do now. The food we buy and consume every day only to throw away the leftovers and repeat again the next day.
We work all day to earn money to buy gadgets the latest gadgets. We get home and turn on our televisions only to consume the content.
We spend every spare moment being consuming bytes over cables and air waves. We consume news and social media posts.
Is there any other reason we are becoming more anxious and depressed when we are forced to sit still in the moment and just be without consuming.
Every waking moment is pushing and urging us to consume something in one form or another.
But that’s the very reason we need to be mindful of our consumption habits and to also take the time to experience the discomfort of resistance from a place of stillness.
Part of simplifying life is to be aware of this behavior and having the awareness to make informed decisions rather than let emotions dictate our behaviours.
Once we can observe emotions we can begin to take back the power. Anxiety is to be expected. With discomfort comes anxiety but with exposure comes growth.
Does this mean all acts of consumerism are bad though? I would say not necessarily so. A lot of consumerism is born out of necessity these days. We need to consume food, transport, fuel and other aspects in our daily lives.
The key is to recognise the difference between necessity and emotion driven consumerism. This is where mindfulness can help by building our self awareness skills.
When we are able to notice urges and emotions driving us to consume based on running from painful emotions or cravings trying to create pleasant emotions we can stop and notice these feelings.
We can then interject with cognition and ask ourselves is this act of consuming based on a legitimate need or is it based on an emotional desire.