Secrets To A Blissful Life: What Really Matters Revealed (M)

Find out what are the ultimate keys to happiness in this wide-ranging study.

Find out what are the ultimate keys to happiness in this wide-ranging study.

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Attending A Better College Doesn’t Make You Happier, Here’s What Does… (M)

No matter whether students went to a top- or bottom-ranked institution, the secret of happiness and satisfaction with work and life lay elsewhere.

No matter whether students went to a top- or bottom-ranked institution, the secret of happiness and satisfaction with work and life lay elsewhere.

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This Belief About Time And Money Makes You Happier

Time or money, which do you prioritise?

Time or money, which do you prioritise?

Putting greater value on your time than your money is linked to more happiness, a study finds.

Slightly over half of the participants in the study valued their time over their money.

The remainder valued their money over their time.

The conclusions come from six studies with over 4,600 people.

Ms Ashley Whillans, who led the research, said:

“It appears that people have a stable preference for valuing their time over making more money, and prioritizing time is associated with greater happiness.”

The older people were, the more likely they were to value their time.

Ms  Whillans said:

“As people age, they often want to spend time in more meaningful ways than just making money.”

People were given a series of scenarios that pitted time against money.

For example, they were asked to choose between having a more expensive apartment and shorter commute or cheaper apartment and longer commute.

Or, they were asked: would you choose a job with longer hours and higher starting salary or lower hours and lower starting salary.

While both of these are major decisions for most people, the time/money split also held for more everyday decisions.

Neither people’s income nor gender affected whether they were more swayed by time or money.

However, people at the very bottom end of the income spectrum were not included in the research.

Some people may have to prioritise money in order to survive.

Ms  Whillans said:

“Having more free time is likely more important for happiness than having more money.

Even giving up a few hours of a paycheck to volunteer at a food bank may have more bang for your buck in making you feel happier.”

The study was published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science (Whillans et al., 2015).

Why Social Media Hijacks Happiness — Especially For Materialists (M)

Social media emerges as a catalyst in the progression towards unhappiness for those with a certain mindset.

Social media emerges as a catalyst in the progression towards unhappiness for those with a certain mindset.

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The Surprising Effect Of Weight Loss On Happiness (M)

Some clinical trials have shown that weight loss is associated with improved mood, but that is not the whole picture.

Some clinical trials have shown that weight loss is associated with improved mood, but that is not the whole picture.

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The Tasty Foods That Make People Happier (M)

The boost to happiness from eating these can kick in over as little as two weeks.

The boost to happiness from eating these can kick in over as little as two weeks.

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A Simple Strategy To Squeeze More Happiness Out Of Life

Even something as simple as a meaningful conversation can be savoured and enjoyed again many years later.

Even something as simple as a meaningful conversation can be savoured and enjoyed again many years later.

Learning to savour the good moments in life is one of the keys to being happier, research finds.

Even something as simple as a meaningful conversation can be savoured and enjoyed again many years later.

The key to savouring is being open and present.

Once you notice you are enjoying something pleasant:

  1. Start to think about why it is good,
  2. connect it to other pleasant experiences,
  3. and think about how it could be better.

With practice, anyone can learn to squeeze more happiness out of the same experiences.

Dr Maggie Pitts, the study’s author, said:

“Savoring is prolonging, extending and lingering in a positive or pleasant feeling.

First, you feel something pleasant, then you feel pleasant about feeling pleasant, and that is where savoring comes in.

It’s not just feeling good; it’s feeling good about feeling good, and then trying to trap that feeling.”

Savouring simple conversations

For the study, Dr Pitts asked people about conversations they had savoured.

She found that we savour all types of conversations: everything from inspiring speeches and intimate disclosures to simple physical contact or hand gestures.

Generally, people enjoyed the communication in the moment, but that is not the only way to get pleasure from it.

Dr Pitts said:

“You can time travel through savoring.

I can sit here now and think of something that happened earlier today or yesterday or 25 years ago, and when I recall that savoring moment I physiologically experience savoring, and that makes me feel relaxed and puts me in a good mood and can really boost my moment.

There’s also this idea of anticipatory savoring.

People do this when they plan for a vacation or a honeymoon or the weekend.

We anticipate and we have that good feeling that helps us in the moment.”

→ Read on: 4 life-savouring strategies.

The study was published in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology (Pitts et al., 2018).

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