check out these different paths to happiness

check out these different paths to happiness

via Psychology Today by Wendy Patrick

We spend a lot of time as a society talking about how to be happy.  A 2019 article in Travel and Leisure listed the happiest cities in the United States.[i]  Topping the list was Plano, Texas, followed by Irvine, California and Madison, Wisconsin. Wallethub ranked the cities within specific categories. If you are most interested in emotional and physical health, head to San Jose, California. Are you happier with a strong sense of community? Settle in Fremont, California. If you are motivated by money, for a steady job and financial prosperity, pack your umbrella and head for Seattle, Washington.  

But as much as we might like to manipulate happiness through geography, we are not lucky enough to have that type of control over our emotions. And in fact, the Travel and Leisure statistics demonstrate there is no steady rhyme or reason to the happiness meter.

Looking at the nation´s biggest cities, the article reveals how some of our major metropolises weigh-in: San Francisco barely makes the top 10, Austin, Texas comes in at 14, San Diego at 18.  Much farther down the list are other major hubs: Washington D.C. (51), Dallas (68), Atlanta (79), Los Angeles (82), and New York (90).

But regardless of where you live, there are definite ways to improve your mood.  Research ties happiness to several distinct factors, including friends, family, and fitness.   

When Happiness Values Friends Over Finances 

Do people with less money value friends more? Apparently, the answer might be yes. Ji-eun Shin et al. (2019) in a piece entitled “You Are My Happiness” used a free association task to investigate what words come to mind in response to considering the concept of happiness.[ii]  They found that the amount of social words, such as “love” and “family” provided in a link to happiness predicted the actual level of life satisfaction—although this association was moderated by perception of financial status.

Interestingly, they found the link between holding a socially oriented view of happiness and life satisfaction to be significant for members of low socioeconomic status (SES), but not members of high SES.  They conclude that considering the overlap between social relationships and money, the social aspect of happiness appears to hold a more central role for individuals with less money…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE