Can Money Buy Happiness? Essay

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In the last decade, the field of psychology took a dramatic turn from only looking at mental illness, to exploring what makes people feel fulfilled, engaged and happy. This Positive Psychology Movement has produced an expansive amount of researchers who are looking at things such as happiness, positive emotions, optimism and healthy character traits. At some point, every one of these top researchers explored the effects of money on happiness and positive emotions. What we are finding out is that happiness is the ultimate currency. Not only do happy people enjoy life more and have more fun, but they also practice positive lifestyle habits and have stronger immune systems. When faced with illness, happier and more optimistic individuals have been shown to be more proactive in their medical care, more compliant with treatment and medication, have quicker recoveries and show better health outcomes. So, if we want to be healthier and happier, it’s worth figuring out where money comes into play. When we talk about happiness, we need to look at it from two separate aspects--life satisfaction as a whole vs. moment-to-moment moods. I can be satisfied with my overall life, yet still have moments when I am not happy. Vice versa, some folks can be dissatisfied with their current circumstances and wish for change, but still have many moments of joy throughout the day. Interestingly, money affects our feelings about both aspects of happiness. Income is often thought to be a good measure of happiness and well-being. However, when researched, it was found to be less significant than predicted. Although individuals with higher income levels report overall satisfaction with their lives, they often enjoy themselves less on a daily basis and experience greater moments of stress than those with lower incomes. When does income make a significant difference in

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