Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happiness Paradox: When less makes us happier!

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New Y...

Nancy Gibbs over at Time.com asked the question:

So why is it that at least some aspects of the Great Recession of 2009 appear to have made people feel better.

Gibbs posted an article yesterday saying that people are feeling very positive about their lives!  It seems that bad time are not dampening the spirits of people.  Could it be that when the "expectation bubble" burst people were relieved?    Even though people might be spending less for gifts this Christmas, it may be they are ready to return to the true meaning of our holiday spirit .  In the past expectations for more and more "things" under the tree had put pressure on the pocket books of families and credit cards had become their only choice.  Now they may find that expectations are less and therefore the pressure to spend more than they have has decreased.  I loved what  Gibbs had to say at the end of her article on the Happiness Paradox and the American Dream:
It [happiness] gets bigger when we don't care if it [American Dream] gets smaller; we stopped buying all the stuff we didn't need that was supposed to make us happier, and we seem to be happier for it. And who would have expected that.

Those if us that are senior citizens feel the same pressure to keep grandchildren happy and live up to the expectations of our family.  While the seniors I know are less likely to spend more than they have, they are more likely to sacrifice in order to give gifts to family members.  In today's climate of lessening expectations they will feel more comfortable with what they are able to give.  Hopefully, this year of reality check will bring about more appreciation for personal contact and less emphasis on financial rewards.

We can only hope.


This blog was posted on Right Health.com
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