Why consumption is good
There is an amazing capacity of consumption. I feel, we consumers are the happiest souls when we consume something of our choice. Be it a slice of pizza, driving a newly launched SUV, consuming content (print and digital both or mere a book). The bottom line is- our chosen consumption makes us happy and it is in this pursuit that the Indian economy sees a revived kind of consumerism where malls are getting back to 100% capacity, people are returning to jamming the roads and eateries have already started seeing footprints.
Do you know why we are happy when we eat food of our choice? This is because the areas in our brain that help with regulation of eating, hunger, and cues, signal dopamine to be released. This creates a sensation of good feelings, and positive reinforcement. Study says, it is part survival, and part sensory when we eat.
Now think about shopping. We already have experts who suggest us to Retail Therapies. And study claims that shopping actually causes your brain to release more Serotonin-a chemical substance that makes you feel good!
Even for that matter, giving makes us feel happy. A 2008 study by Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton and colleagues found that giving money to someone else lifted participants’ happiness more that spending it on themselves. Backing this theory, we have happiness expert Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, who dug out parallel results when she tasked people to do five acts of kindness each week for six weeks.
Talking about consumption, I would say, it is always been seen as the driving force of the economy, providing people with the incentive to expend their time and energy to obtain more and better things.
Consumption not only provides happiness to those who consume but arguably also has other favorable consequences, by giving people the incentive to work, trade and innovate for a better life, leading to higher levels of production and economic growth and by boosting aggregate demand and reducing unemployment. And after the pandemic hit, we know it well, how economic activity in markets strengthens developments. I feel consumption is a win-win for the economy and the consumers. As the quest for a better life by way of consumption makes the economy expand with growing activities simultaneously making us “consumers” happy.
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