7 happiness boosters that might surprise you!

7 happiness boosters that might surprise you!

There are some things that obviously contribute to our happiness. 

And then there are some surprising or unexpected happiness boosters! 

Check out this list from the Huffington Post and consider whether some or all might add to your happiness and quality of life…

by Herve Larren

"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" are so fundamental to our well-being that our forefathers included these values in the Declaration of Independence. So, shouldn't it be obvious how to achieve that third value, happiness? Not in my experience. Often, the things that we expect will make us happiest fail to achieve that end.

Researchers discovered a prime example of this phenomenon when they surveyed winners of the Michigan state $500 Million Power Ball about their satisfaction with life. The lottery winners expected that the prize money would greatly increase their happiness over the long term. In the short term, the survey showed that lottery winners were indeed slightly happier. However, their average level of satisfaction with life soon returned to that of other Michigan residents.

The relatively young field of happiness psychology delves into why we often go about seeking fulfillment in the wrong places, and more importantly, points us to where we should be looking instead. Below are seven initially counter-intuitive findings from this new research that the BidKind team has found helpful in getting more happiness out of life.

1) Give to others instead of getting something for yourself. Experiments where participants are given prize winnings to distribute show that the more people give away to other participants, the happier they are. They are happier still when given a sum and instructed to give it away to someone they care about. So, when you find a $20 in your coat pocket or receive a larger than expected tax refund, instead of spending it on yourself, consider taking a friend out to lunch or donating to your favorite charity.

2) When you do spend on yourself, choose experiences over stuff. Initially, it might seem that buying something that you can touch might give you more enjoyment over time than a fleeting moment of pleasure. However, it turns out that the newness and excitement of purchases wear off. The longer you have had something, the more you devalue it. Meanwhile, an experience, especially one shared with friends or loved ones, is something that you can recall fondly forever.

3) Buy it now and enjoy it later. Experiences, and even purchases, are even more enjoyable, if you delay your gratification. Studies show that the best part of a vacation can often be looking forward to it. Furthermore, the act of spending what feels like a lot of money on a trip or other big ticket item can be distinctly uncomfortable. Brain scans even show responses to spending similar to those of actual, physical pain. Don't leave the threat of that experience hanging over you as you enjoy your massage or anticipate the credit card bill from your last shopping spree. Instead pay up front with cash or a debit card, or even get yourself a gift card you can use to treat yourself later…

…keep reading the full article HERE