How Can I Be Happier?

It has been said that ‘Happiness is a moment by moment decision’, so if that is true, what do YOU need to do to be happier? Can you change your thinking to be happier or should you keep buying those lottery tickets? This will be a series of posts in which we will examine some common ideas about happiness.

Idea #1: Money Will Make You Happy

Who doesn’t think that having ‘more’ in terms of: a bigger/better house, vacations, jewelry, fashions, fancy stuff, etc. will make you happier? It seems to make sense, right? If you had a bigger place to live in, you wouldn’t feel so cramped or disappointed or whatever, yes? And, if you had more vacations, you’d feel more relaxed and calm and…..happier? But, what do the statistics actually say about these things? Is the popular thinking true that richer equals happier?

In the September 6, 2010 issue of Time Magazine, research from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, indicates that this may be true, up to a point. Researchers found that $75,000. per year in salary was a critical number in that the lower a person’s annual income falls below that amount, the unhappier he or she feels. But no matter how much more than $75,000 people make, they don’t report any greater degree of happiness.So, should we all be rushing out to up earnings to the $75,000. level? The answer is: Yes, and, No.

Interestingly, researchers also found that subjects reported two types of happiness—the day-to-day ‘mood’ type of happiness (waking up each day feeling good and ’emotionally sound’) and the’ overall’ type of happiness (feeling that life is working out well in general). The more test subjects earned over $75,000., the higher they rated on overall life satisfaction and happiness, but there were no changes noted in their everyday mood. Conclusion? More money might make you feel better about your life being on track and working out, but it won’t make you any more pleasant in the morning!

Like this post? Tune in next time for: Do Happy People Feel Happy All The Time?