There is a small relationship between money and happiness, how you spend your time is actually what matters
Psychologists have found a surprisingly small relationship between money and happiness. One answer is that people aren’t spending it right, but money itself might only be part of the problem.
Jennifer L. Aaker in her 2011 paper “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy, Consider Time” argues, that time plays a critical role in understanding happiness, and it complements the money-spending happiness principles by offering five time-spending happiness principles:
1) spend time with the right people: it is not only whether you spend your time with others that influences your happiness, but also who you spend your time with Interaction partners associated with the greatest happiness levels include friends, family, and significant others, whereas bosses and coworkers tend to be associated with the least happiness
2) spend time on the right activities: to what degree is the content of that experience “evergreen” – perennially fresh and enduring?
3) enjoy the experience without spending the time: the part of the brain responsible for feeling pleasure, the mesolimbic dopamine system, can be activated when merely thinking : the brain sometimes enjoys anticipating a reward more than receiving the reward.
4) expand your time: focus on “the here and now” : Why? One possible benefit of being present-focused is that thinking about the present moment (vs. the future) slows down the perceived passage of time, allowing people to feel less rushed and hurried
5) be aware that happiness changes over time: for instance, younger people are more likely to associate happiness with excitement, whereas older individuals are more likely to experience happiness as feeling peaceful.
Souce : Jennifer Aaker, Melanie Rudd, Cassie Mogilner If Money Doesn't Make You Happy, Consider Time, Journal of Consumer Psychology, 2011
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