Recession-Proof Your Happiness
A group of economists is getting into the happiness business. Rather than measure success by traditional economic indicators, they want us to measure our society’s health by the well-being of our citizens.
This perspective is not new. Robert Kennedy made the same recommendation 42 years earlier: “[Our] gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play…It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”
With the current research on happiness, these economists have taken Robert Kennedy’s observation one step further. They have come up with behaviors and activities that will boost your happiness level, without consuming material goods. You don’t need to be dependent on the economy for your happiness. You can make a personal choice to create your own happiness with these recommendations:
1. Invest in human relationships. When you connect with others, you build a foundation that will enrich and support you more and more every day.
2. Be active. Find a way to move your body that feels good. When your body is active, it manufactures happiness.
3. Savor the moment. Sharpen your awareness of what puts you on an upward spiral by being mindful in the present moment.
4. Try something new. Never stop learning. Set a goal you’d like to achieve and get started.
5. Do something to help someone. When you give a bit of yourself, you activate the pleasure zones in your brain.
Are you ready to trade in GNP (gross national product) for TPH (total personal happiness)?
Source: Psychologies, January 2010, p. 156.