You might be surprised to learn that studies show that past a certain point, having more money than you need can actually make you unhappier. How so? According to Psychology Today magazine, in an article entitled “Money Buys Unhappiness, Proven in a New Study”, part of what makes someone truly happy is their appreciation for the simple pleasures in life. But here comes the kicker: being able to have all the best things in life, actually hinders your ability to do just this. In other words, buying whatever you want, whenever you want, eventually leads to a feeling of dissatisfaction.
This being said, what does it take to make people truly happy? Here are four things that have been proven to make a difference in our happiness levels:
Experiences VS Money
Creating pleasurable experiences for ourselves and for those we love brings about more happiness than making more money or buying material things. For example, spending pleasurable moments with friends will create memories that last forever, whereas the excitement at the novelty of an object you’ve just purchased, even if it’s something you’ve wanted for a long time, wears out really fast.
Research shows that meaningful relationships are essential to our happiness. They help us thrive mentally, emotionally and physically, and they are indispensable to our overall well-being. The same can not be said for money.
Grateful people are happier. This is because being thankful helps us focus on the positive things in our lives. When we practice gratitude, it immediately opens our eyes to what we already have, instead of letting us dwell on what we don’t. This, in turn, helps us feel a higher level of satisfaction in the long run.
Giving to Others
Though it may seem counterintuitive in today’s chaotic world, people who give to others are happier than those who live self-centred lives. Thus, many people find their lives enriched with an added sense of purpose when they give of their time to do volunteer work.
Isn’t it interesting to note that not one of these things proven to make people happy involves becoming rich? Of course, having enough money to buy life’s necessities is fundamental to our well-being. However, it is now well-established that the money a person has is not proportionate to his or her happiness.
So, what do you think? How much does it take? Or maybe the better question would be: which of these things could help YOU be happier?