Things science says can make your family happy.
Happiness is something everybody looks for. That is why we try to find jobs that fulfill us and spend time with our loved ones – to increase that very feeling.
The wonderful thing about science is that it can determine the factors contributing of any aspect of life. While philosophers attempted to understand the meaning and value of happiness, researchers recently started studying its determinants.
Various methodologies have emerged over the past 40 years to determine people’s level of satisfaction in life. But they are all based on surveys of population sample which include questions such as: “Are you happy at work?”, “What do you feel is missing in your life to be happy?”. The answers are then crossed with the subjects’ age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, profession and other components to create profiles.
The majority of studies on happiness find that close family ties and valuable relationships trump material gains. In addition, many studies suggest that happiness comes mainly from us, and us only. Accomplishment, self-acceptance and work on oneself bring tremendous amounts of joy to those who feel or work for it.
We compiled a list of happiness factors based on scientific studies, and is also beneficial in terms of saving money. While that may seem like an odd article to post on a debt site, we feel it is important for you to remember that, despite your financial problems, there are many things in life to live for. So when you can’t seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel, read these few words.
- Eat dinner together – Actually it doesn’t have to be dinner, it can be breakfast as long as you all sit down together and eat. Children of families who eat together have lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, better mental health, higher grades, and lower rates of obesity. It also gives families the opportunity to talk about their day, discuss their problems and share moments of closeness.
- Have a meeting once a week – Set aside 10 minutes once a week to have a family meeting. Agenda – What is happening this week, what went wrong last week and how you can do it better, something good that happened to everyone last week, and feedback from everyone?
- Know your story – People who know their family story have higher levels of life satisfaction and are more resilient. The reasons for this include: being part of something greater than yourself going back multiple generations, knowing that previous generations have undergone misfortune, and knowing that you’re part of a family no matter what.
- Experiences, not things – The more materialistic people are, the lower their level of happiness. The more time spent with family and friends the higher their level of happiness. So spend your money on holidays and other things done collectively as opposed to ‘things’ and activities done individually.
- Get outside – People who spend time outside have lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, than people who don’t. Maybe you can even combine 1 and 5 and go for a hike and a picnic.
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