There’s are individuals who advocate against making our cities better places to live because they fear losing their dependence on their automobile (car marketers encourage this too). We need to let car-brained individuals know that their lives will be better if they have more transportation options and that they will be happier too. People who got rid of their car for non-monetary reasons increased their happiness!
to reduce energy and resource consumption beyond technological modifications. One way to do this is to forgo ownership of certain consumer goods, such as cars. Although proponents of sufficiency claim that car shedding (i.e., giving away a vehicle so that the household no longer has its own car) might increase subjective well-being (SWB), there is little empirical evidence supporting this. This paper aims to help fill this gap by adding empirical evidence on the relationship between car shedding and SWB. Data from the Swiss Household Panel is used (2006–2017) with a fixed-effects model assessing the year-to-year changes in evaluative and affective well-being (life satisfaction, leisure satisfaction, joy, and anger) before and after car shedding. Separate analyses for non-affordability-driven and affordability-driven car shedders were conducted. Results show that non-affordability-driven car shedding has a positive effect on feelings of joy one to three years after the event. Affordability-driven car shedding, in contrast, is associated with a decrease in leisure satisfaction and feelings of joy up to three years later. Levels of positive affective wellbeing already decrease in anticipation of affordability-driven car shedding. A sufficiency measure like non-affordability-driven car shedding is not associated with reducing SWB, and this may have policy implications.
Happiness isn’t the goal of life, but it sure is important. If you’re not feeling happy it isn’t because you don’t have enough stuff or not watching enough TV. According to experts you should join a club (doesn’t matter what it is just that you’re with others), walk outside in nature, sleep more, and spend time with friends and family.
This happiness advice comes from a survey of the world’s top happiness scholars. It’s a fun article which also has suggestions for policy makers to increase everyone’s happiness.
If you ever feel that you’re in a rut then do something to get you out of your comfort zone. A new study reveals the importance for expanding one’s boundaries to increase one’s happiness.
Going out of your comfort zone doesn’t need to be skydiving, public speaking, or anything extreme. It all depends on you and what you need to do to expand yourself.
An increasingly large body of research in social psychology has underscored the power of brief situational interventions in promoting purposeful change. The present research contributes to the literature on positive psychology interventions (PPIs) by testing a novel volitional intervention that encourages people to engage in activities ‘outside their comfort zone.’ Participants were randomly assigned either to a condition that encouraged them to engage in an activity outside of their comfort zone over the following two weeks or to a control condition that encouraged them to keep a record of their daily activities. The intervention boosted the life satisfaction of people who were relatively less happy at baseline, with exploratory analyses tentatively suggesting benefits strongest among people who went outside their comfort zone by helping others. Discussion centers on the potential of behavioral ‘stretch’ interventions to promote positive change and well-being among people dissatisfied with their life.
People who volunteer tend to be happier than those that don’t. Is that because happier people volunteering or that volunteering can make you happy? It turns out that volunteering does increase your happiness. Researchers found that the average volunteer gets a happiness equivalent to a salary boost of $1,100 USD.
So volunteering helps the world and it helps you too. So what are you waiting for? Go volunteer!
Evidence of the correlation between volunteering and wellbeing has been gradually accumulating, but to date this research has had limited success in accounting for the factors that are likely to drive self-selection into volunteering by ‘happier’ people. To better isolate the impact that volunteering has on people’s wellbeing, we explore nationally representative UK household datasets with an extensive longitudinal component, to run panel analysis which controls for the previous higher or lower levels of SWB that volunteers report. Using first-difference estimation within the British Household Panel Survey and Understanding Society longitudinal panel datasets (10 waves spanning about 20 years), we are able to control for higher prior levels of wellbeing of those who volunteer, and to produce the most robust quasi-causal estimates to date by ensuring that volunteering is associated not just with a higher wellbeing a priori, but with a positive change in wellbeing. Comparison of equivalent wellbeing values from previous studies shows that our analysis is the most realistic and conservative estimate to date of the association between volunteering and subjective wellbeing, and its equivalent wellbeing value of £911 per volunteer per year on average to compensate for the wellbeing increase associated with volunteering. It is our hope that these values can be incorporated into decision-making at the policy and practitioner level, to ensure that the societal benefits provided by volunteering are better understood and internalised into decisions.
At the start of the year people make new goals for themselves, often those are about improving one’s life. This year instead of focusing on happiness as a goal you should consider thinking longer-term and think about satisfaction. Recent research points out that happiness itself is something that can be attained once one is out of poverty (fortunately this is most people in the developed world), so what people find lacking is a larger longer-term goal: and this is satisfaction.
The key here is memory. Satisfaction is retrospective. Happiness occurs in real time. In Kahnemanâ€™s work, he found that people tell themselves a story about their lives, which may or may not add up to a pleasing tale. Yet, our day-to-day experiences yield positive feelings that may not advanceÂ that longer story, necessarily.Â Memory is enduring. Feelings pass. Many of our happiest moments arenâ€™t preservedâ€”theyâ€™re not all caught on camera but just happen. And then theyâ€™re gone. Take going on vacation, for example. According to the psychologist, a person who knows they can go on a trip and have a good time but that their memories will be erased, and that they canâ€™t take any photos, might choose not to go after all. The reason for this is that we do things in anticipation of creating satisfying memories to reflect on later. Weâ€™re somewhat less interested in actually having a good time.