“For example,” Rifkin said, “if you were given the opportunity to get a massage during a particularly busy time of year, would you do it? We probably don’t, because you think you’re too stressed.” And will be distracted and will not be able to really relax.
“The unfortunate paradox, however, is that this type of thinking is counterproductive to well-being. It is when we are feeling the most crunch that individuals can really benefit most from self-gift,” she said. .
The researchers looked at the pressures of time, money and mental health, and how they can all reduce our interest in self-gifting. In one experiment, they showed participants an advertisement for a fictional product and gauged their level of interest. For half the participants, they added a self-gifting tagline that encouraged them to consume the product with a pleasure-based intention – for example ‘Take me time out’, or ‘Make a special moment.’
They found that when participants felt more stressed about a low budget, busy schedule, or long to-do-list, they were less interested in products with self-gifting taglines. They bought fewer items and indicated less interest in trying them. When asked why, people indicated that they would not have been able to really enjoy the experience.
why gifting yourself is important
Rifkin and his colleagues became particularly curious if this line of thinking was correct, or if people were accidentally underestimating their happiness. They followed up on studies where people engaged in self-gifting experiences—an attempt to create special moments—to see how it affected their happiness. they found that People who were initially feeling stressed were happier and more relaxed after giving a self-gift. They felt less stressed and less crunched for time.
“My hope is that understanding these findings can help people challenge some of their internal narratives about when Vs, There’s never a good time to do something for yourself,” Rifkin said. “All I know is that I’ve tried to change my habits a bit as a result of my research findings.”