With the rise of modernization and capitalism comes the birth of the I Want More generation. Businesses use advertising to make sure that we will always crave for more. For this reason, although the US has grown in wealth and productivity for the past few decades many of us are not grateful. In fact, according to Robert Lane, a Yale political scientist, surveys show that Americans evaluation of their level of happiness is falling significantly. Good thing there are ways you can do to reverse the situation.
- Stop thinking that having more will make you happier. In fact, according to Ed Diener, a psychologist at the University of Illinois, “Materialism is toxic for happiness.” There are even studies showing that the wealth of the rich doesn’t make them any happier than the poor people.
- Think of something to be grateful for each and every day. It could be your good health, your friends, your family, or something as simple as your favorite shirt. Instead of groaning for something you don’t have, think of the many things you already have and think of the less fortunate who doesn’t even have half of what you own.
- Put others’ happiness above yours. Materialism has driven almost every one of us to focus on ourselves. But there are studies proving that those who give to others are often happier even if that meant they have less left for themselves. Donate to some charity work or give some money to orphanages. Look after those less fortunate than yourself and start to live a happier and more satisfied life.
- Spend less time on negative media. Stop consuming information which only makes you feel miserable. Today’s media is bombarded with shows and spoiled celebrities which only give you the urge to measure up. Remember, not because they have more means they’re much happier. Often behind those glitters and glamor are stories of heartaches and pains.
- Stop being grumpy. Numerous studies show that venting your bad feelings on even the most minor of things only magnifies your anger. Before you express your irritation, consider well if it’s worth the pain and the heartache. Contemplating on this matter will allow your anger to dissipate.
- Learn new things, go to unfamiliar places or change your daily routine. Think of Dora the explorer. She is a classic example of a happy person who gains a strong sense of satisfaction every time she successfully deals with unforeseen situations.
- Get some sleep. Experts say that people who lack sleep are usually cognitively impaired. This means they lack the ability to make sound decisions, which can lead to unforgivable mistakes and regrets. Also, being tired can make you grumpy.
- Boost your energy by exercising. You don’t have to go to the gym for some work out. A short stroll to the park is enough to brighten your outlook.
- Breathe some fresh air. Take some vacation. Go to the beach. Spend some time with your loved ones. After all, they, and not your boss, are the reason you’re living.