Using positive psychology to maintain happiness during the economic downturn

Using positive psychology to maintain happiness during the economic downturn

Good things from down economic times?

By Dave Shearon

Positive Psychology News Daily

We are in the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression. Many more people have lost “wealth” from the stock market declines than did so during the Great Depression, and, like that seminal event, this downturn seems to be affecting many nations simultaneously.Several months ago, I committed to lead a session on “Beyond Money” at a Tennessee Bar Association continuing legal education seminar in April. The seminar is aimed at managing partners for some of the larger law firms in the state. So, I have been thinking about this topic for a while.

Of course, I also think about the other profession with which I often work: K-12 educators. Though, on average, public school teachers make more per week than public lawyers (district attorneys, public defenders, legal services lawyers, etc.), they do not have the chance of incomes like top end attorneys. My older son is just completing his second year in the Teach Kentucky program and is strongly considering a career in public education, but he could still go a different route. So I also think about how this profession is affected by the current situation.

For both areas, I think that this downturn may offer a real opportunity for gains in well-being. Here is why. First, let’s consider the effect of money on happiness. Drawing from the excellent chapter on this topic in Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth by Ed Diener and Robert Biswas Diener, here seem to be the basics from the rather extensive body of research:

To read more from this positive psychology article on happiness despite adversity – click here