In today’s age, it seems money is king. TV shows, movies, and social media (to name a few) all paint a picture of what we “think” we need to achieve happiness. When in all actuality the definition of “your” happiness is more based on perception than anything.
In a recent study published in “Nature Human Behavior” of over 1.7 million people, they found that, “Emotional well-being, or feelings, is about one's day-to-day emotions, such as feeling happy, excited, or sad and angry. Life evaluation, really life satisfaction, is an overall assessment of how one is doing and is likely more influenced by higher goals and comparisons to others.”
So really, does that mean we are all evaluating our lives based on how others are doing? Partly yes. The other part has to do with our life goals and how close we are to achieving them (as well as family and friends—we will get more into that later).
Money, in some cases, has a lot to do with reaching our life goals. As money has become our standard for achievement and aids in reaching goals (think money for college, investing in a start-up business, etc.). In fact, the study found out just how much money one needs to feel “satisfied.”
“It's been debated at what point does money no longer change your level of well-being. We found that the ideal income point is $95,000 for life evaluation and $60,000 to $75,000 for emotional well-being. Again, this amount is for individuals and would likely be higher for families."
Anything over that, though, and adverse effects may ensue. Including a decline in overall life satisfaction, or happiness.
“The study also found once the threshold was reached, further increases in income tended to be associated with reduced life satisfaction and a lower level of well-being.”
But why is that? I mean, I would be pleased with a new Ferrari for everyday of the week, right?
Well, maybe not. Here’s why…
The study went on to say, “After the optimal point of needs is met, people may be driven by desires such as pursuing more material gains and engaging in social comparisons, which could, ironically, lower well-being.”
So what does that mean for us average, everyday folks? Focus on making enough money to have your needs and life goals met and beyond that (and in my opinion, most importantly)—make time for the important people in your life and reach towards the passions that make you feel most fulfilled.
Other than that—just relax! Life is too short for anything else! Life is about balance—strive for it.
What do you think about this study? Let us know in the comments section on Facebook.
In other unrelated news, a famous celeb is pregnant. Find out who here.