Recession or No Recession, Come On, Get Happy!

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Could the onset of the recession actually make people happier? In fact, it could—if only because it can remind people of what’s really important in life. And truth be told, buying stuff doesn’t make folks happy in the long run.

Some choice tidbits from a USA Today story on what makes people happy, recession or no recession:

Though money helps people lead more comfortable lives, it doesn’t necessarily contribute to the moments in life that bring happiness — which tend to come from social interactions and activities, not from accumulating material goods…

Simplicity is a silver lining to the downturn…

Some research suggests focusing on gratitude can increase happiness…

Psychologists also have found that being highly materialistic affects happiness, with those who are most concerned about money and possessions actually being less happy…

Keeping too close tabs on the economy, such as daily monitoring of economic indicators that have been on a roller-coaster ride since the recession began, also hinders happiness…

Eating out or buying theater tickets was money better spent than on more things, such as a new tech toy or clothing, and the experiential purchase provided greater happiness for themselves and others, regardless of the amount they paid or their income…

The researchers suggest that’s because experiences can provide happy memories, which don’t wear away as fast as the rush of buying a new possession.

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