Money and the Diminishing Returns of Happiness
This post, Riches Don’t Count – Happiness Does,” asks and makes the argument that more money doesn’t buy more happiness. This is not a new position and a great deal of research has been done in this regard. However, it does beg the question, why do we want to struggle for riches when it doesn’t add to our life satisfaction? A question that is asked in this way, “Just because you make 400 times more money do you think you are 400 times happier?
The studies show that when you surpass a certain income level (I’ve seen fingers ranging between 60,000 and 130,000) there is a large drop off in the effects money has on life satisfaction.
You can read the whole post here and check out the “GDP vs. life Satisfaction” chart.
3 Ways to Boost Your Happiness that Actually Work
The second post in this addition of “This Week’s Happy News” is called “3 Ways to Boost Happiness that Sound Really Stupid but Actually Work.” This post by Eric Barker is based on Barbra Frederickson’s book Positivity and the three things that stood out to him.
1. Be sincere or your heart will explode! Sound a bit dramatic? Well it did to Eric so he did a little more research and sure enough he discovered that when “The authors examined whether facial expressions of emotion would predict changes in heart function… Those participants who exhibited ischemia showed significantly more anger expressions and non-enjoyment smiles than non-ischemic.”
2. Smile when Life Sucks. A sincere smile, on the other hand, will do you a world of good. Meaning you’ll recover faster from traumatic situations, which equals better overall health and greater well-being.
3. Count Every Single Kind Thing You Do. This one is the least “outside the box” of the three and in fact similar practices are recommended by all the heavy hitters in positive psychology.
The practice is to consciously commit acts of kindness and then write about them or keep a journal, and it’s recommended that you review what you’ve written daily.
The result: “Subjective happiness was increased simply by counting one’s own acts of kindness for one week. (d) Happy people became more kind and grateful through the counting kindnesses intervention.”
Read the complete post here.