Can I really have a positive impact on and change my level of happiness?

There is saying that money and material goods canít buy you happiness and itís true. There is wealth of research that has been done globally trying to understand the link between income and wealth and happiness. Here are some facts that you may find interesting. Despite significant increases in income levels and standards of living globally during the past number of years, peopleís levels of happiness has remained the same. A meta-analysis of research performed globally seeking to understand a link between income level and happiness shows there is no positive correlation. This means that as a personís level of income goes up, their happiness level does not necessarily go up. It is important to state that income does have a significant impact on happiness when a person does not earn enough to provide basic necessities (food, housing, and clothing) for himself/herself and their family.

The reason why money and material wealth has little to do with our emotional wealth is because as humans we are very good adjusting to lifeís circumstances. Lifeís circumstances quickly become the norm for us. Take for example if you were to buy a brand new Rolex watch. While initially you may be fascinated and proud of your watch, over time the novelty of your new Rolex wears off because it quickly becomes a normal part of your everyday life. You can substitute Rolex for clothing, cars, furniture, electronic equipment, etc. Research also shows that even lottery winners increased levels of happiness associated with winning the lottery decreases over time, so you can imagine what little sustainable impact a salary increase has.

If you want to seriously increase your levels of happiness over the long term, you will have to make an effort and commit to working to make simple changes to your life which can make you happier. During the Art of Happiness program we give you tools and guidance on practical changes you can make to improve your levels of happiness.