Measuring Happiness

Here are a few things that stood out to me from an article from the nytimes:

If the relationship between money and well-being is complicated, the correspondence between personal relationships and happiness is not. The daily activities most associated with happiness are sex, socializing after work and having dinner with others. The daily activity most injurious to happiness is commuting. According to one study, joining a group that meets even just once a month produces the same happiness gain as doubling your income.

In short, modern societies have developed vast institutions oriented around the things that are easy to count, not around the things that matter most. They have an affinity for material concerns and a primordial fear of moral and social ones.

Studies show that being married produces a psychic gain equivalent to more than $100,000 a year.

People don’t compartmentalize the major aspects of their life, they bleed together and effect each other. The things that can’t be counted in monetary value, like marriage, friendship, family, hobbies have a direct link to our happiness. Even though they may be hard to measure, those activities can enrich your life and mean more then the money in your pocket.

I find it very interesting how commuting is considered the most injurious activity. I just moved and reduced my commute from 1 hour to 1/2 hour. I used to deal with it by listening to my iPod  and yelling at the other drivers when they … cut me off, drive slow in the fast lane, have their brights on, don’t use their blinker, don’t know how to drive.

So would you agree money can’t necessarily give you happiness, but personal relationships and social activities can? Would you take a happy marriage with average or low pay over $100,000 a year and  a poor marriage? If you couldn’t have dinner with your best friends, would you get depressed? Are there little things in life that you may not think mean much, but if they disappeared would leave you feeling less? What little things in your life makes you happy?

To the little things in life…

  • Reading a good book
  • To an idea that gets fully realized on my canvas
  • Sushi
  • Concerts and Plays
  • Breakfast in bed
  • Making plans and everything goes smoothly
  • A great conversation
  • Football Sunday
  • Discovering a new blogger
  • Getting my back scratched
  • Finding a great pair of heels
  • Listening to the rain

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About Inner Love

I want: Passion. Desire. To create Cosmos. I want: Expression. Depth. Meaning. I want: Joy. Laughter. Love. I want: Life. View all posts by Inner Love

11 responses to “Measuring Happiness

  • Beth

    I like this one Suze. I agree with the jist of it all. I would take happiness and friendship over lots of cash any day. There is great satisfaction to living simply. “Things” don’t fill your soul.

    • Suzanne

      Thanks Beth, glad you liked it.

      I like that the article is saying that for someone like me, who will never make tons of money (ever), but can still live a happy, full life.

  • webmistress

    Great post, the little things in life sometimes have the biggest impact also the hardest things to aquire mainly are that which has no price tag.

    I too love listening to the sound of rain, birds chirping, water falls its so soothing. When its between people the thing that makes em the most happy is simple conversation, laughter, sharing of opinions and idea’s.

    Especially when its between a man and woman…call me old fashion, but communication and quality time trumps a diamond ring and shopping spree’s any day.

  • IzaakMak

    I withdrew from the world at large primarily because I could no longer spare the psychic energy required to run the rat’s maze that comprised most of my former life. In some ways, the daily commute was the worst of it, because it was like having to first push the big rock up the hill before I could even begin the thankless task of pounding it to rubble!

    • Suzanne

      We live our life being told to climb that ladder, that we should want to be at the top, but that just isn’t true. True, money would help with and I would certainly love to buy “stuff”, but sometimes you lose sight of what can make your life full and meaningful and happy if all you are doing is climbing that ladder.

  • sdatheart23

    Wow! That part about a group meeting once a month equating to doubling your income is something amazing.

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