Here are 6 of the biggest myths about happiness you really need to smash!

Here are 6 of the biggest myths about happiness you really need to smash!

via ScienceAlert by Chris Weller

Some people see happiness as the feeling in a small moment – a chat between old friends, a warm meal. Some see it as deeply profound, a kind of enlightenment.

Scientists tend to view it another way, namely, as an ongoing state of being that ebbs and flows – but can be controlled based on how people live their lives.

Some of the biggest findings about the science of happiness contradict many people’s understandings of how to find joy.

Here are just a handful of those misconceptions.

1. More money does increase happiness – but only to a point.

A higher salary is always nice, but it won’t necessarily increase your happiness, a wide body of research suggests. Some early behavioural economics studies found that a salary of roughly US$75,000 a year was the point at which happiness began to plateau.

Follow-up research has found similar plateaus based on the cost-of-living in your particular area. Someone in Atlanta, for example, will hit peak happiness by making roughly US$42,000 a year, while a New Yorker will need to pull in US$105,000.

2. Happiness comes from giving gifts, not receiving them.

Unwrapping presents on a holiday or birthday is undeniably fun, but science suggests the person who bought and wrapped those gifts is gaining more happiness than you are.

2008 study found that people’s reported levels of happiness jumped when they spent money on others instead of on themselves. A follow-up study in 2013 showed that the finding applied to people in 136 countries, not just those in North America.

And earlier this year, a study showed a neural link between generosity and happiness, further cementing humans as fundamentally social animals…

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