Loss aversion is an important concept in human behavior.
According to behavioraleconomics.com ;
Loss aversion…is encapsulated in the expression “losses loom larger than gains”… It is thought that the pain of losing is psychologically about twice as powerful as the pleasure of gaining.
It gets me thinking, “if we didn’t have anything to lose in the first place, we wouldn’t feel pain of losing”.
A lot of people, including myself, are suffering from the constant fear of losing. I suppose that it is mainly the fear of losing someone special (e.g. family, friends etc), but still, losing something – even if it is not so precious – is somewhat painful.
If possessing things gives you fear of losing, it means the more you possess, the more you fear. So why not just NOT having them? If you don’t have it, you don’t lose it.
I understand that it is definitely not a solution for the fear of losing someone special (which is the case for most people), however, it can help you to live in another way, which is sort of like a minimalist way.
Minimalism is a growing trend worldwide for several reasons ; financial aspects, environmental concerns, mental/psychological perspectives… etc. (Here is one of the many websites that explains benefits of being minimalism.) In addition to this, from behavioral economics point of view of loss aversion, living in a minimalist way might reduce your fear of losing and focus on other things. Less stuff means less worries.
That is what popped up in my mind when I came across an article on loss aversion.
While writing this post, the whole notion of minimalism reminded me of an amazing book called “Gift From the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
“I love my sea-shell of a house. I wish I could live in it always. I wish I could transport it home. But I cannot. It will not hold a husband, five children and the necessities and trappings of daily life. I can only carry back my little channelled whelk. It will sit on my desk in Connecticut, to remind me of the ideal of a simplified life, to encourage me in the game I played on the beach. To ask how little, not how much, can I get along with. To say – is it necessary?- when I am tempted to add one more accumulation to my life, when I am pulled toward one more centrifugal activity.”