Money doesn’t supposedly buy happiness, but I’d rather be rich and miserable then poor and miserable!!!! Anyway, according to Jonathan Clemens at WSJ here are Nine Tips for Investing in Happiness.
• 1 Make time for friends. According to a 2006 report by the Pew Research Center in Washington, 43% of married people say they are “very happy,” versus 24% for those who aren’t.
“Married people spend less time alone,” notes David Schkade, a management professor at the University of California at San Diego. “There are parts of your brain that are stimulated by the presence of other people. You’re more active and energetic and engaged.”
For the same reason, seeing good friends on a regular basis can also bolster happiness.
• 2 Forget the pay raise. While regularly hitting the town with friends will likely increase your happiness, you probably won’t get the same boost from spending hours at the mall.
True, you are initially thrilled when you buy that new dress or that flat-screen television. But the thrill quickly fades and you start hankering after something else.
The same thing happens when you get a pay raise. Soon enough, you are taking the extra money for granted and you’re feeling dissatisfied again.
• 3 Don’t trade up. Research indicates that, once folks achieve a fairly basic standard of living, it takes a lot of additional money to bring about even a small increase in reported happiness.
Yet your income and wealth could still loom large — if you start comparing yourself with those around you. For instance, if you moved to a neighborhood you can barely afford, you would likely be disgruntled.
The reason: You will be surrounded by wealthy families, and that will be a constant reminder of your relative financial standing.
“If you can look out your window and see neighbors with lower incomes, you’ll be happier,” Prof. Oswald says. “People are very keen to move into the elite neighborhoods. They don’t realize that they won’t be as happy as they expect. That’s the curse of being human.”
• 4 Keep your commute short. Moving into a ritzy neighborhood would be even more harmful to your happiness if it means a longer commute.
• 5 Count your blessings. Your pleasure from your new house and your latest pay raise may subside. But you may be able to revive some of the good feelings by taking a few minutes to count your blessings.
Remember how wealthy neighbors can make you feel poor? What matters is what you focus on. Instead of obsessing over your neighbors’ riches, try focusing on the riches you have — and that will likely make you feel happier.
• 6 Enjoy a good meal. In surveys, eating ranks as one of our favorite pastimes.
• 7 Challenge yourself. Leisure is more pleasurable than work. But you should also think about how you spend your leisure time.
After a long day at the office, you might be inclined to stagger home and collapse in front of your new flat-screen television. But in fact, the research suggests you’ll be happier if you are more active.
• 8 Volunteer. If you want to help yourself, try helping others — by engaging in charitable activities.
• 9 Give it time. Surveys have found that reported happiness tends to be U-shaped through life, with folks becoming increasingly grumpy as they approach their 40s and then recovering from there.
Maybe our happiness gradually declines as we fail to fulfill our youthful ambitions, only to revive once we accept our lot in life. Alternatively, maybe this midlife unhappiness reflects the time pressures faced by those in their 40s, as they juggle work and family.
But whatever the reason, you are likely to grow happier as you grow older.
Maybe growing senile has something to do with that!