The Mindful Self-Express

The mind-body experiment.

Is Money the Secret to Happiness?

Most religions also teach us that the key to happiness lies in appreciating what we have and helping others, rather than in trying to elevate our own status. On the other hand, most people think that if they had a lot more money, they would be a whole lot happier. Can money really buy us happiness, and, if so, how much? Read More

Right on!

I couldn't agree more.

Money is (a) necessary (evil). Happiness is vital. Money comes from outside. Happines springs within.

Thanks for your comment

I agree that a big part of happiness comes from within - te,temperament and how you see things. A smaller, yet still important part is external circumstances.

Javi wrote:
I couldn't agree more.

Money is (a) necessary (evil). Happiness is vital. Money comes from outside. Happines springs within.

Melanie,I totally agree with

Melanie,I totally agree with you that money can't buy happiness. I
cannot put a dollar amount on my personal happiness. Great read. Thanks.

A mirroring factor

While first reading this article I pictured two circles, side by side.

One - the Happiness v. Money circle. Wherein, we are faced with the very question, will money bring me happiness? We go around and around, chasing money and happiness. Then we raise our incomes, gather money and jump from circle one, to circle two.

Two is where we feel we are happier because we have more money. But soon (like you describe), the novelty wears off. We need yet, more money. And, we go round, and round. Where and when do we get out of this circle?

I think the answer is in the fluidity of our experiences, of our lives. If we make $100,000 a year, but are stagnant, we are unhappy. If we're on our way up or way down from whatever amount would currently make us happy, then we are forced to make those choices that money would provide - more time with the kids, a better vacation, etc.

Being adaptable creatures, we find happiness, without more money. We accomplish being happy with what we have. Because we know our lives are constantly changing. And that yields choices. The very thing we want to begin with.

Thank you for weighing in

Gibson,

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I think you make an important point that our standards keep changing (for better or worse) and that we are able to adapt when income goes up or down unexpectedly. When the way we spend our money reflects our values and conscious choices, we are index happier.

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Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D., studies the health effects of expressive writing, cognitive adaptation to trauma, the genesis and treatment of chronic pain, among other coping issues.

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