Tough times may present an opportunity for happiness

Tough times may present an opportunity for happiness

If the economy tanks, will our mood, our hopes, our sense of well-being tank, too?

There’s a good chance of it, especially if it costs you a job. “The loss of a job or the loss of a loved one are two of the biggest” causes of serious unhappiness, says Richard Ryan, professor of psychology, psychiatry and education at the University of Rochester, who also is a happiness researcher.

There is no question either that a financial crisis “leads people to feel insecure and nervous about their futures,” Ryan says.

But when you study happiness, you learn quickly that it is not a matter of chance. If you are knocked down hard by events, you will feel the pain. But people are remarkably resilient. Your happiness level and sense of success and satisfaction have little to do with the economy and the size of your paycheck.

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