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11 More Facts on Happiness

lifestyleoftheunemployed:

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In a follow up to the prior post, here are a few more facts on happiness I discovered in preparing for a talk with Trinity College.  Definitely worth a read.

1.  Be a master.  It sucks playing the violin.  Or at least that’s what I thought when I gave it a go in 7th grade.  But I should have stuck with it.  A 2009 study found that over the long term, the mastery of a skill (violin included) was linked to happiness.
 
2.  Be less ambitious.  One study found that rural people in China with no hope of prosperity are happier than their urban equivalent, despite huge economic growth.  The study looked at the difference between actual and aspirational income.  So maybe settling isn’t so bad.
 
3.  Lend a hand, or at least some blood.  This one is probably my favorite.  A 2012 study showed that people who gave blood where happier afterward if they didn’t get paid.  I’m not sure why but it rings true for me.
 
4.  The right kind of retail therapy.  The act of buying something will make you happier.  But get the right kind.  Booking experiences (like concert tickets, vacations, etc.) will make you happier than purchasing an object.  So skip the late night infomercials.
 
5.  Happy music will make you smarter.  When I use to work late, my go-to music was the Nine Inch Nails and the Faint.  Apparently that was a big mistake.  Two independent studies done in 2013 showed that happy music made you both a) smarter and b) associate the work with something positive.
 
6.  Just role with it.  This one is a little morbid, but a 2009 study found that chronically ill patients were more likely to be happy if they gave up hope instead of being focused on a cure.  I just got a little depressed typing that.
 
7.  Get paid by the hour.  People who get paid by the hour have a stronger positive relationship between work and happiness.  Having never received overtime pay, I can see why.
 
8.  Or get rid of your boss.  Entrepreneurs have to be paid 2.5X the amount of money to be just as happy working for someone else.  Think about that another way.  Entrepreneurs would pay their boss 60% of their income to sit at home.
 
9.  Its all about the Joneses. A study found that Americans would rather be rich in a poor neighborhood, just as long as the poor don’t live too close.
 
10.  Lindsay Lohan could be the happiest person on earth.  Key word: “Could”.  Self-destructive, depressed, fragile people are more capable of extraordinary happiness than your average Joe.  They just need the right environment.
 
11.  Happiness is contagious.  So is obesity, loneliness, smoking…the list goes on.  Bottom line: find happy friends and you’ll be happy.