US Med Voice

US Med



Vol. 5, No. 8 | August 2013




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Money Can Buy Happiness
If You Spend It On Experiences

US MED Gives Back You won't find happiness at the mall in the form of a huge new TV or in the department store in the form of new clothes or a fancy coffee pot. They will not increase your overall happiness.

Spending money on experiences maximizes happiness, says Michael Norton, an associate professor at Harvard Business School and co-author of Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending.

* According to research published in Health magazine, people who spent money on concert tickets or simply a planned dinner out were happier than those who spent money on tangible goods. One reason: they get more pleasure from social bonding.

The pleasure begins as you anticipate the event, which can be as valuable as the event itself. Afterward, recalling it will continue to give you pleasure in the following weeks or months. Even if the event doesn't turn out to be as nice as you thought it would, it still counts. People tend to remember things as better than they actually were.

* Don't worry about self-improvement. Take pleasure in what's already good about yourself. At the University of Zurich, they say identifying your strong suits is better. Think about your top five strengths in your relationships at the office and in your home, and you will experience more happiness.

* Enjoy the pleasure of giving. Giving to charities will make you feel good about yourself, but Dr. Norton's research finds that doing things for people you know makes you happiest. You'll love the joy rush from the positive feedback.

* Fake it until you feel it. Smiling can cheer you up.



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