What makes people happy?
This is a question that has been on my mind a lot lately. Would a better job, more money, more friends, more stuff, or more vacation time make you a happier person in general?
A study from San Francisco State University made some headlines recently. The study concluded that you should spend your money on experiences instead of more stuff if you want to be happy. You can read one article about the study here:
So my question to you is what would make you happy? When you got your tax returns (if you got a return this year), did you think about where you wanted to go or what you wanted to buy? Did you think about either one?
A lot of people are so in debt right now that they aren’t worried about buying more stuff or spending money on experiences. They want money to help them climb out of what seems to be a never ending financial hole. Lack of money is one of if not the biggest reason that I hear about when people talk about being unhappy.
At this point in my life I’m by no means rich. I am in a better position financially than some, but I don’t get to travel with my family like I will one day. Regardless of the fact that I am not pulling down the big bucks just yet, I am a happy person most of the time.
I have been told on more than one occasion that I live in a land of unicorns and rainbows. I guess that might be true. I’m a firm believer in the fact that it will all work out in the end for me. I’m very grateful for everyone who has helped me get to where I am today. I know that no matter what it looks like right now, things will be alright.
It seems like in every time I take a look at my Facebook feed there is a new article, book, or a blog post that gives a list of things that are proven to make you happy. There are lots of things that seem to end up on these lists and sometimes I compare one list with another list.
These lists inculde things like doing yoga in the morning, fake it ’til you make it, and getting enough sleep. There does seem to be one thing that is on basically every list for living a happier life. The key to happiness seems to be gratitude.
Gratitude seems so easy and it really is something that everyone can put into practice. It starts with being grateful for the small things. A friend of mine started a gratitude journal online years ago. I don’t know if she still keeps up with it, but I thought it was an awesome idea. My wife and I took time out each night for a while to write down things that we were grateful for from the day. I found that for me personally, it is important to take time out and remember that I have so many reasons to be grateful.
Maybe you don’t think that you have anything to write in a gratitude journal. That could be one of the reasons that you don’t live a life filled with joy. If you seem to be down a lot, take some time out and inspect your life for opportunities to be grateful. It will be time well spent.
Remember that worrying about what may or may not happen will do you no good. All we can do is control what we can control and respond to the things that come our way. Your response will determine if you live a happy life or not.
That is my view on the subject. Everyone is free to have their own view.