Money & Material Possessions don’t buy happiness! April Fools!
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to win the lottery? Perhaps you have dreamed of all the things you could buy and trips you could take if only you had the extra money. Numerous lottery winners have been interviewed and have reported that they are depressed, sad, and miserable. How can that be? The notion that money and material possessions equate to happiness is the biggest “fool” many of us still believe today. A new car, designer handbag, or house on the beach may create a temporary feeling of joy or happiness, but that feeling soon diminishes. Being dependent on possessions or money for happiness is like walking on sinking sand.
Martin Seligman, father of the Positive Psychology Movement and author of the book Authentic Happiness, states, ”A barrier to raising your level of happiness is the ‘hedonic treadmill,’ which causes you to rapidly and inevitably adapt to good things by taking them for granted. As you accumulate more material possessions and accomplishments, your expectations rise. The deeds and things you worked so hard for no longer make you happy; you need to get something even better to boost your level of happiness.” This is a treadmill that never ends. When is enough –enough?
So, what does contribute to lasting and overall happiness? Is there a relationship between money, possessions, and a happy person?
Research has shown the happiest individuals have the strongest commitment and connection to family and friends. Money doesn’t guarantee happiness, but good relationships most certainly do!
Ways to increase your overall happiness in life:
- Don’t compare yourself to others. There will always be people who have more or less than you. Be thankful for the things you do have in your life.
- Surround yourself with people you have fun with, who make you smile and laugh. A friend who supports you through thick and thin is priceless!
- Evaluate relationships that are ‘toxic’. Investing too much time with negative people has the potential to create bad habits of criticizing and complaining.
- Invest in experiences. Live life! Create memories with family and friends that will last a lifetime; memories that can bring a smile to your face during the not-so-great times!
- Refuse to allow yourself to dwell in self pity. If you are unhappy with things in your life, list the changes you are willing to make and then JUST DO IT!
The Happiness Equation:
Happiness=How you look at a situation + Conditions of Living + Voluntary Choices
Is your glass half full or half empty? You can change how you view situations. You can be fulfilled by your work, or by doing things for others. There is always a choice in life, and you have the ability to change and make changes which will ultimately lead to increased joy and happiness. So, don’t be a ‘Fool’, invest more in relationships and less in material possessions!
Debbie Riddle is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Delaware and New Jersey and CEO of Total Family Solutions.
Licensed therapists are available in your community and outpatient mental health services are provided at their newest location at 5801 Kennett Pike, Suite C-A, Centreville, DE 19807 P: 856-772-5800 | F: 856-772-5852. For more information about out-patient services in Delaware and New Jersey, visit www.totalfamilysolutions.com
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