If Money Can’t Buy Happiness, What Can?

Stop the presses! Studies have shown that positive emotions have a direct correlation with good health. Well, thats no secret of course. The Hindu and Buddhist disciplines have been promoting the relation between health and clean auras for centuries. Even if you choose to overlook that wisdom of the ages, there has been scientific evidence linking stress with numerous mental and physical illnesses. People with Type A personalities have been noted to be at higher risk of hypertension along side other disorders. This is all archaic information—the real discovery is that this correlation is even stronger in developing countries!

In places suffering war, famine, and other difficulties, the inhabitants actually registered higher positive emotions than those in North America or Europe. According to Sarah Pressman, lead psychologist on the study, Malawi, a country with a GDP per capita of $900, registered more happiness than USA, a country with a GDP of $49,800. It turns out that happiness is not just a luxury afforded to the wealthy. So, if money can’t buy you happiness, what can?

Unfortunately, there is no magic pill you can take that will make you automatically happy. It takes years to establish any form of relative balance that brings you close to happiness and if you are like me, you just do not have the patience for that (oh those pesky negative emotions creeping up once again). However, according to the 2007 Journal of Happiness, there are two strategies that can be used to control your emotions.

The first one is maintaining positive emotions. Savour each moment of happiness, for they are few and far between. This can be done in a variety of ways, whether it is sharing your good news with a friend or taking extra time to finish a particularly good slice of cheese cake. Positive emotions can also be maintained by anticipating an upcoming event, reminiscing about a past one, or experiencing genuine happiness for the good events in other people’s lives.

The next step is to enhance your positive emotions. This can best be done by cultivating gratitude. Be thankful and count your blessings during the good times and see the silver lining. Remember your achievements and let go of your hatred. When you let go of your hate, you can address your pain and only then can you truly move on.

Happiness is linked to your health and it is your personal responsibility to maintain your own welfare. With these simple tricks, hopefully humankind can eventually learn how to bounce back from bad experiences and embrace the positives before it kills us.