We may think that a new car or more money in our savings account is what lights up our world, but is that true? A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America explains that a “time famine” may be wreaking havoc on our happiness quotient. As a result, saving time is more valuable than extra cash. But is it? What are your happiers? Another qualitative study of subjects who were clients at a family practice ranging in gender, age, and cultural backgrounds, discussed predictors (happiers) of happiness. Some of the factors they listed were: striving for specific goals, uplifting relationships with others, a balanced life, focusing on positives, and even commitments to faith and appreciation from others.
But maybe hoping for more time, more cash, more food or “more” of anything is backfiring because of the desire for more. That is what Tammy Strobel concluded after divesting, which is chronicled in a New York Times article by Stephanie Rosenbloom (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/08/business/08consume.html). Her life became richer when she let go of possessions. For some, experiences bring happiness, not ownership of things. Trips, family time, hobbies, and overcoming obstacles are experiences that move the needle toward happiness. A psychology professor named Todd Kashdan, from George Mason University, proposes that eternal curiosity is what fuels happiness. He says that curious people live longer. Just ask a cat, right? Maybe, but the nine lives part might also be a plus.
Part of living a healthy, anti-inflammatory lifestyle means finding out what makes you happy and not accepting that what you “think” makes you happy is really the source. Keep in mind that March 20th has been declared the International Day of Happiness, so we all have that to look forward to and by pursuing our unique happiers, maybe we can have additional days too.