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Want Genuine Happiness? Science Says You Only Need Friends And Health, Not Wealth

Want Genuine Happiness? Science Says You Only Need Friends And Health, Not Wealth

A recent study from The London School of Economic and Political Science[1] has found that most human misery is linked to failed relationships, mental illness and poor physical health, rather than money problems.

The study was named the Origins of Happiness, and it analysed data from four countries, including Germany and the United States.

The study, which was led by researchers at the London School of Economics (LSE), found that eliminating anxiety and depression would reduce overall misery by a whopping 20%. On the other hand, eliminating poverty would only reduce misery by 5%.

To some people this result isn’t surprising – including lead researcher Lord Richard Layard. He said that on average people haven’t become happier in the last 50 years, even though the average income has more than doubled.

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This may be because humans are more emotionally connected to their health and their relationships than they are to their money. That isn’t to say wealth isn’t important; wealth can certainly improve life in a materialistic sense. However you cannot form a bond with money.

Lord Layard believes that this research could be used to improve the overall happiness of people across the world, as governments could start to measure people’s happiness and satisfaction levels based on their relationships and health.

You can also use the research to become happier!

What You Can Do To Be Happier

The research found that the most important things for your happiness are your relationships and your physical and mental health. For that reason you should focus on improving your well-being, rather than your finances.

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Here are some tips to help improve your relationships and your physical and mental health.

How To Improve Your Relationships

Fix the failed relationships in your life. If a friendship ended and you were okay with that, you don’t need to try and restart it. Instead focus on the relationships you still feel bad about; maybe you need to apologize to someone for your past behaviour, or perhaps you need to assert yourself. This will make you feel much better about the situation, even if the friendship doesn’t improve.

Focus on the people that you love. Dedicate time every day to nurturing the healthy, happy relationships in your life. Phone a friend or family member you haven’t talked to in a while. Cook a meal and invite friends and family over.

If you are lonely or want to make more friends, find people with similar interests. Start by looking online for interesting forums that you could join or for meet-ups in your area that you could attend. You can also look for local classes, such as yoga or cooking classes.

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How To Improve Your Physical Health

Aim to drink 8 glasses of water each day. Water helps to remove toxins from the body and it hydrates your organs, so this is an easy way to improve your health.

Make sure that you get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

Exercise for 20 minutes, five days a week. You can go for a brisk walk, or you can jog, or you can dance — anything that gets your heart going!

Eat healthy, small, nutritious meals throughout the day. Make sure that your diet includes vegetables, fruit, whole grains and protein. (And don’t forget to occasionally enjoy some chocolate!)

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How To Improve Your Mental Health

Keep yourself occupied. Join a club that sounds interesting, build a cupboard, write down your feelings, feed the homeless, speak to a friend, run a hot bubble bath – anything that you think sounds enjoyable and productive.

Switch up your surroundings. If you’ve been in your room for days, put on your coat and go for a walk outside. You could visit a café or go to the park – anything that gives you the chance to get away from the negative thoughts.

Consider speaking to your doctor, therapist, or counselor for additional support and help. Be honest and open about your mental health.

Reference

[1] The London School of Economic and Political Science: Happiness depends on health and friends, not money, says new study

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019

6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

I’ve stood on the edge of my own personal cliffs many times. Each time I jumped, something different happened. There were risks that started off great, but eventually faded. There were risks that left me falling until I hit the ground. There were risks that started slow, but built into massive successes.

Every risk is different, but every risk is the same. You need to have some fundamentals ready before you jump, but not too many.

It wouldn’t be a risk if you knew everything that was about to happen, would it? Here’re 6 ways to be a successful risk taker.

1. Understand That Failure Is Going to Happen a Lot

It’s part of life. Everything we do has failure attached to it. All successful people have stories of massive failure attached to them. Thinking that your risk is going to be pain free and run as smooth as silk is insane.

Expect some pain and failure. Actually, expect a lot of it. Expect the sleepless nights with crazy thoughts of insecurity that leave you trembling under the covers. It’s going to happen, no matter how positive you are about the risk you are about to take.

When failure hits, the only options are to keep going or quit. If you expect falling into a meadow of flowers and frolicking unicorns, then you’re going to immediately quit once you realize that getting to that meadow requires you to go through a rock filled cave filled with hungry bats.

2. Trust the Muse

Writing a story isn’t a big risk. It’s really just a risk on my time. So when I start writing a story, I’m scared it will be time wasted. Of course, it never really is. Even if the story doesn’t turn out fabulous, I still practiced.

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When I’ve taken risks in my life, the successful ones always seemed to happen when I followed the muse. Steven Pressfield describes the muse,

“The Muse demands depth. Shallow does not work for her. If we’re seeking her help, we can’t stay in the kiddie end. When we work, we have to go hard and go deep.”

The muse is a goddess who wants our attention and wants us to work on our passion.

If you’re taking a risk in anything, it’s assumed that there is some passion built up behind that risk. That passion, deep inside you, is the muse. Trust it, focus on it, listen to it.

The most successful articles and stories I write are the ones I’ve focused all my attention on. There were no interruptions during their creative development. I didn’t check my phone or go watch my Twitter feed. I was fully engaged in my work.

Trust the muse, focus your attention on your risk, let the ideas and path develop themselves, and leave the distractions at the side of the road.

3. Remember to Be Authentic

Taking a risk and then turning into something you’re not, is only going to lead to disaster. Whether you are risking a new relationship or new opportunity, you must be yourself throughout the entire process.

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How many times have you acted like you loved something just because the men or woman you just started going out with loved it?

For example, I’m not an office worker. I have an incredibly hard time working in a confined timeline (ie. 9-5). That’s why I write. I can do it whenever the mood strikes, I don’t have somebody breathing down my neck, telling me that I’m five minutes late, or missed a comma somewhere. I don’t have to walk on eggshells wondering if what I’m writing will get me fired or make me lose a promotion. I can just be myself, period.

One girlfriend didn’t understand that. She believed solely in the 9-5 motto, specifically something in human resources because that was a very stable job. I was scared for my future, but I stuck with the relationship because of my own insecurities and acted like I would do it to make her happy.

Here’s a tip: NEVER take away from your happiness to make somebody else satisfied (note I didn’t say happy).

Making somebody else happy will make you happy. Doing something to satisfy somebody is murder on your soul.

4. Don’t Take Any Risks While You’re Not Clearheaded

I’d been considering the risk for a couple weeks. It all sounded good. I was 22 and I could be rich in a couple of years. That’s what they were selling me, anyways.

One night, while at a house party with some friends, I found myself at a computer. A couple of my friends were standing nearby and asked me what I was doing. I told them I was considering starting my own business and it was only going to cost me $1,500.

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Of course, when a bunch of drunk people are surrounded by more drunk people, things get enthusiastic. It sounded like the best business venture in the world to everybody, including me. So I signed up and gave them my credit card number.

A few painful months and close to $4,000 dollars lost later, I quit the business. I was young and fell into the pyramid scheme trap. It was an expensive drunk decision.

Drinking heavily and making decisions has a proven track record of failure. So when you have something important to decide, don’t let your emotions take over your brain.

5. Fully Understand What You’re Risking

It was the start of my baseball comeback. I got a tryout with a professional scout and killed it. After the tryout, he talked to my girlfriend and myself, making sure we understood I would be gone for up to 6 months at a time. That strain on the relationship could be tough.

We understood. I left to play ball, chose to stay in the city I played in, and a year later we broke up. Not because of baseball, see point 3 above. Taking big risks can have massive impacts on everything in your life from relationships to money. Know what you’re risking before you take the risk.

If you believe the risk will be worth it or you have the support you need from your family, then go ahead and make the leap.

You can get more guidance on how to take calculated risks from this article: How to Take Calculated Risk to Achieve More and Become Successful

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6. Remember This Is Your One Shot Only

As far as we know officially, this is our one shot at life, so why not take some risks?

The top thing people are saddened by on their deathbeds are these regrets. They wish they did more, asked that girl in the coffee shop out, spoke out when they should have, or did what they were passionate about.

Don’t regret. Learn and experience. Live. Take the risks you believe in. Be yourself and make the world a better place.

Now go ahead, take that risk and be successful at it!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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