Okay, so being a positive psychology student (someone who studies happiness and well being) this is the question I am really curious about.
When I was small, I used to think that “Hell yes! Money does buy happiness. I can buy teddy, candy and go to adventure parks with money and it makes me sooo happy!”
As I grew up, I learnt to examine the issue from different dimensions.
Turns out that the happiness I found in candies and teddies didn’t last that long. After some time I got used to it and it didn’t excite me as it did before.
And it was not like those things always made me happy.
When I was sad and feeling lonely, no matter how much money was spent on buying me teddies and candies, I didn’t feel happy.
All I needed was a warm embrace from my mom and endless talks with her.
So, did money bring happiness?
Yes, when it was spent on adventure parks and family dinners.
Even now I long for those happy times I had with my family. These memories, they are still fresh and those pictures still make me smile.
Money does bring happiness when spent on having experiences with loved ones.
But there is another perspective to it.
For the people who are poor, money does bring a lot of happiness.
But once your needs are fulfilled, money starts loosing it’s value.
When you are hungry and have your favorite cookie, your satisfaction level is 100.
When you have another cookie that satisfaction level drops to 98
When you have yet another cookie the satisfaction level drops to 92
And so on…
There is this concept of ‘hedonic treadmill’ in psychology.
The hedonic treadmill theory states that our circumstances, including extremes like winning the lottery or becoming a paraplegic, alter our happiness level temporarily, and we quickly adjust back to a fixed emotional set point.
It basically means we get used to the new things that we have in our life – the good ones as well as the bad ones.
Therefore, the “happiness” money buyes is not long lasting.
There is actually a threshold of the happiness money can buy. Up to a certain point, it can, but once it exceeds the threshold, it cannot “buy” happiness.
Experts say that happiness does increase with wealth. But the correlation peaks at earning 75000$ per year.
Money is important. No doubt. But it’s not a necessity to be happy.
Here are two simple ways you can use to slow down the hedonic treadmill –
1. Be mindful of what you have. Bring your attention to the present. Feel those moments when you enjoy what you have and don’t take that for granted.
2. Try for a while to imagine your life without the stuff you have now, the people in your life now.
How do you feel?
Feel grateful for their presence. For the joy they bring to you.
Think about the good stuff your friends and family members have done for you and still do.
And… don’t forget to thank them♥️
I think… More than money, gratitude brings joy. What do you think?
Lemme know in the comments!
Hope you all are having a great day!😊