Have you heard about the theory that money doesn’t make you happy? Maybe you even disagree with the concept. Well, there’s actually new evidence to prove that money is not the most important determinant of an individual’s life satisfaction. In fact, it matters more that a person is healthy and has solid relationships.
According to the latest report presented at the London School of Economics, if governments were to focus on alleviating issues such as depression, anxiety, poor health, and weak relationships, then they would reduce unhappiness by 20 percent compared to 5 percent when eliminating poverty. Additionally, the report found that having a life partner increases life satisfaction more than education. This finding is in line with previous data claiming that being married is worth more than $100,000 of annual income (for both women and men).
If you’re still not buying the facts, consider the observation that Germany, Britain, and Australia have seen a massive increase in living standard but average happiness has remained stagnant. All the facts suggest that if we want to be happy, we need to spend time fostering our relationships and taking care of our mental and physical health.
But, It Get’s More Complicated
Strong relationships and great health are priceless, however they can only take you so far. There is a point where low income turns into a huge issue for both factors. Poor individuals and families often experience intense psychological distress at a higher rate than those living above the poverty line. This leads to severe complications like heart disease and diabetes. Having too minimal of an income can in turn negatively affect your health and strain your relationships.
In conclusion, researchers believe that there is no further satisfaction progress to be made past an annual salary of $75,000. Having a high income can help you in life satisfaction, but really can’t buy you happiness.
What’s The Happiness You Should Chase?
Happiness can be defined differently for everyone. But, statistically speaking, younger adults prefer “extraordinary experiences” and older adults prefer ordinary everyday experiences, like drinking a quality, warm cup of coffee. Aside from going out and doing things, it would help to have a good friend or two (or five) to enjoy it with. These friendships should break through a surface and be of quality rather than quantity.
Furthermore, ten ways to find happiness and fulfillment, based on the latest research, have been outlined from the founder of Action for Happiness:
- Giving- doing things for others
- Relating- connecting with others
- Exercising- take care of your body
- Awareness- living mindfully
- Trying Out- learn new things
- Direction- have clear goals
- Resilience- continue to push forward
- Emotions- seek out the good
- Acceptance- be comfortable with yourself
- Meaning- participate in something bigger than yourself
True happiness comes from being aware of the world and the people around you. Not only will you make a big difference in your life if you take this advice, you’ll also increase intuition, creativity and personal connections. Don’t constantly chase a higher salary, instead take a few moments out of your day to call your mom, or go for a run with your best friend. You won’t regret it.