July 9, 2009

More proof that money can't buy happiness

A new study has found that earning more money makes recent graduates more anxious and in some cases even depressed, while the ones who have strong relationships are the happiest.

Why doesn't wealth pay off in happiness? The researchers theorize that the pursuit of riches and the American Dream distracts people from more rewarding pursuits - like spending time in meaningful relationships, growing as a human being, and finding ways to contribute to the community.

The article stresses that the conclusion is not that it's BAD to be ambitious or to work hard to achieve success. Just that you shouldn't count on it to make you happy.

One of the suggestions for finding the path to happiness? Favoring meaning over materialism. Looks like the study backs up the beliefs and values of the simple living/non-consumer community, as well as many cultural and religious traditions.

Of course, all these studies always presuppose the fact that in many situations we can't even start TALKING about happiness before people have enough to cover their basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing. No one is theorizing that we'd all be better off poor and starving, nor are they blind to the effects of poverty and hunger.

What do you think? How does money relate to happiness? Read the full article here. And please leave your thoughts in the Comments section.


Betsy Talbot said...

The happiest times of my life (now included) come from following a dream with a willing partner and supportive friends. And the funny thing is, money seems to follow happiness (not the other way around). Maybe not to extreme riches, but definitely to "enough."

Kate Sommers said...

I agree with you Betsy.Money seems to show up when I'm enjoying my life the most...a double win!

Anonymous said...

Happiness? I think money is largely irrelevant. Instead, happiness comes from putting your fears aside and following your passions – whatever makes you feel alive. That is a sure ticket to happiness. Not $

Angela said...

I've had the same experience, that money follows the happiness. I go for the happiness without worrying about money, and then it follows. It sounds magical, but I'm sure there is some logical explanation.

And yes, following my passions is a high that has never come from earning a lot of money.

Thanks for your comments and insights!