Why material things aren't everything (and when to let go of the stuff)

Clinical psychologist Dr. Helgo Schomer says many people today are preoccupied with accumulating 'stuff', yet lack any real fulfillment.

But why have we become so materialistic, asks Dr Schomer?

He says there are both evolutionary and deep psychological explanations for our attachment to material possessions.

There is an inner discontent inside of us.. We have this incessant chattering in our minds to have more, be more climb more, compete more. There's got to be a lot of bling-bling.

Dr Helgo Schomer, behavioural psychologist

According to Dr Schomer, living in a time of constant restless dissatisfaction can create a disturbance in our minds, alienating us from our real selves.

Is the 'more' going to enhance your life or is it going to make you less happy? Materialism is burdening you if it disconnects you from a sense of being and the social world.

Dr Helgo Schomer, behavioural psychologist

He says hyper-materialism can be a sign of fragile ego, and he urges people to seek happiness in other enriching ways.

Dr Schomer explains that after fulfilling basic needs such as shelter, food, education, clothes, people should pursue the following (before wealth and 'stuff'):

  • a challenging job
  • meaningful relationships
  • fascinating hobbies
  • social outreach or goodwill projects
  • a deeper sense of purpose

Listener Nqobile called in to share her experience about how she unburdened herself from material objects.

I decided that I'm going to use that money for life experience instead of accumulating other things... It's been the most liberating thing I've ever done.

Nqobile, CapeTalk/702 listener

Lulama also testified about how liberating it is to donate things you no longer need to other people.

One thing grandma always said (something) that always stuck to me: a full hand has no capacity to take.

Lulama, CapeTalk/702 listener

Other callers opened up to host Eusebius Mckaiser and Dr Schomer, take a listen:

Read More
Easy ways to start chilling out

Easy ways to start chilling out

Stress and tension affects everyone. Although we can't wish it away, we can learn how to tackle it, says psychologist Dr. Schomer.

10 tips for students experiencing anxiety or trauma

10 tips for students experiencing anxiety or trauma

Psychologist Dr Schomer offers advice to students amid trauma from disputes with university management and various authorities.

Top 10 ways to get work-life balance right

Top 10 ways to get work-life balance right

A balanced relationship between your work and all other commitments in your life, and how they impact on one another, is key.

5 Tips For a Happy Relationship

5 Tips For a Happy Relationship

Every relationship needs help sometimes - here is some great advice to keep the love alive!

How adults can kick old habits (and keep aging minds young)

How adults can kick old habits (and keep aging minds young)

Tips on how to teach yourself something new and keep your brain fresh and on its toes, with psychologist Dr Helgo Schomer.

How to overcome the fear of death and die with dignity

How to overcome the fear of death and die with dignity

Psychologist explains different ways of dealing with death and how we can cope with something that is unknown but affects us all.

How to deal with shock of retrenchment and regain control of your life

How to deal with shock of retrenchment and regain control of your life

Dr Schomer explains the negative mental effects of retrenchment & gives advice on how to make the best out of a bad situation

Would you say 'please' and 'thank you' to a machine?

Would you say 'please' and 'thank you' to a machine?

Bizarrely, there is a possibility that we may become less civil towards each other, if we don't treat machines like humans.

Popular articles
Mduduzi Manana resigns

Mduduzi Manana resigns

President Jacob Zuma has confirmed that he accepted Manana's resignation and thanked him for his contribution during his term in office.

Alopecia androgenetica is the most common form of pattern baldness - Hair doctor

Alopecia androgenetica is the most common form of pattern baldness - Hair doctor

Dr Kevin Alexandra of the Hair loss clinic explains why you may lose your hair and what treatment you can follow for hair loss.

Good sugar vs bad sugar

Good sugar vs bad sugar

David Katz also known as Mr. Active and Phemelo Motene discuss which sugar you should avoid and which sugar you should consume.

An expert guide on 'hotwifing' and 'cuckolding' in the bedroom

An expert guide on 'hotwifing' and 'cuckolding' in the bedroom

Clinical sexologist Dr Eve shares insights into sexual fetishes and how partners negotiate them in their bedroom and relationship.

Big supermarkets to be policed on food hygiene standards

Big supermarkets to be policed on food hygiene standards

JP Smith, Mayco member for Safety and Security, explains some of the measures in place to ensure food hygiene in big supermarkets.

[Watch] John Maytham shuts down victim shamer on air

[Watch] John Maytham shuts down victim shamer on air

A caller wanted to know what the alleged victim had done in order for Grace Mugabe to assault her.

WC Health Dept responds to Diphtheria outbreak

WC Health Dept responds to Diphtheria outbreak

Dr John Sonnenberg voiced his concern that communication in the Helderberg area following the outbreak could have happened sooner.

Cape officials to harvest 500 million litres of new water a day

Cape officials to harvest 500 million litres of new water a day

Mayor of Cape Town speaks to CapeTalk's Kieno Kammies about plans to provide more water amidst the ongoing drought.