For thousands of years, there have been monks and gurus who have shared that “detachment” is key to a happier life. I personally struggled with what that really meant for a very long time as it sounds very cold. And, let us be honest, we have grown "attached" to things from a very young age whether that be a favourite toy, favourite person or other of life's gifts. However, the trick is to choose affectionate detachment and, in the modern world, balanced attachment to helpful things and people.
The 20th century enabled more people than ever before to access more things, more quickly. More, more, more. More wanting of the wrong things – material things. The availability of “more” material things, more money, more space in a bigger house does not create sustained happiness.
Yale University reports in The Science of Wellbeing how it is non-material experiences that develop sustained inner happiness. The brain actually gets used to things (the car, the high end restaurants, the expensive jewellery, the luxurious new phone and so on). So, do not be “attached” to material things. Trust yourself to not follow others but to do what is right for your personal growth.
It is not to say such things will not make you happy – it that the happiness is short lived. You may not even notice as you go after the next thing. With greater trust in yourself, perhaps a willingness to savour moments more deeply or to take a silence retreat or even to experience coaching to support you to identify what techniques are right for you, you can develop greater inner happiness and wellbeing. And an affectionate detachment from things. The benefits of this in your life, relationships and workplace are priceless.
PS. There is much more to detachment – in relation to others, expectations, habits, assumptions, yourself. Being in the moment, being present, is detachment but is not easy. Hence, it is about working towards the balance that works for you.
To learn more, or understand how coaching or my mindfulness for beginners course can help you to thrive, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can read more about Detachment here.
Disclaimer: The article, nor the author, represents medical expert guidance and the information provided is solely for information purposes. It does not equate to medical, psychological or other advice but is the view of the author based on research, application and experience only.