More #Money, Fewer Problems?

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Turns out, money can buy you happiness.

But, as a new survey reveals, it’s not about spending more cash on pricey objects or raking in a higher paycheck.

Instead, the findings of an Ally Bank survey suggest that the more we save, the happier we are.

For those Americans who currently have a savings account, 38 percent report feeling very or extremely happy — whereas only 29 percent of those without any kind of savings report the same. Respondents revealed that socking away their cash made them feel even better than exercising, eating healthy foods, or having an enjoyable job.

And, not surprisingly, there’s a connection between just how much you have in that account and how likely you are to be happy: 34 percent of those who reported overall happiness had less than $20,000 in savings, 42 percent had between $20,000 and $100,000, and 57 percent had at least $100,000 socked away.

While that correlation may seem obvious, there was another finding that didn’t seem as intuitive: According to the survey, saving more money was actually a greater contributor to happiness thanearning more money. For instance, of those earning $50,000 to $75,000, 40 percent reported they were extremely or very happy; of those earning $150,000 or more, 45 percent said they felt the same — showing that, essentially, happiness plateaued after the $50,000 salary mark. In other words: It’s not about what you have, but how you use it.

Unfortunately, 53 percent of those surveyed fessed up to not having a savings plan. If you’d like to join the group of happy savers — but aren’t sure where to start — read up on Savings 101, and find out how research supports the benefits of saving.

http://theweek.com/article/index/253440/could-saving-money-be-the-key-to-happiness

Why #Overthinking Is The Root Of All Your Problems

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“Some of the greatest battles will be fought within the silent chambers of your own soul.” – Ezra Taft Benson

(The following excerpt from Why Overthinking Is The Root Of All Your Problems by Lauren Martin appeared on elite daily.com on November 25, 2013. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)

You know when someone says something that resonates with you to your very core? It can be a passing comment, a token of advice or just a statement, but it stays with you long past that person’s presence? Well, someone once told me in a state of my own sorrow and agony that, “the only thing that makes it a thing is that you keep thinking about it.” It was a simple phrase, one that doesn’t seem to have much weight to it, but it changed everything for me.

That phrase is one of those special tokens of wisdom that went on to define the way I looked at life and kept my sanity. To this day, I  find myself repeating it whenever something goes wrong, whenever my mind has a moment to delve into the back hole of regrets and disappointments.

Whenever I find myself consciously drifting into a state of self hatred and utter despair, I remember this phrase and repeat it like a tribal chant until the truth of it expels everything else. The moment I tell myself that it’s only my thoughts that are making me upset, everything gets better. It’s like telling yourself the dark is merely the same room without light. Through doing this, I’ve realized that the core of all my problems, all my heartache, all my misery is simply rooted in my own thoughts. There’s nothing there making me relive these past nightmares or remember unwanted memories except myself.

Most of our pain comes from how we churn the negativity over and over again in our minds, until it envelops our very being. It’s the incessant harping of those words that leads to depression, to the self loathing that comes to consume our very being.  When you peel away all your insecurities, fears and sadness, you can find that most of it is a product of your imagination. I’m not saying that your fears are made up, but they are only enhanced by your mind’s ability to grow them into bigger deals than they should be.

You must learn to stop overthinking. It’s the silent enemy that will slowly kill you, chipping away at every shred of happiness you come across. overthinking will keep you from yourself and those around you as you bask in a pool of regret and self-loathing. You must remember to tell yourself, “the only thing that makes it a thing is that you keep thinking about it,” because it’s the truth, and even if it’s not true, there’s nothing you can do about it now.

Life is simple, stop overthinking it!

http://elitedaily.com/life/overthinking-root-problems/

How the Habit of #Gratitude Leads to #Happiness

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(The following excerpt from How The Habit Of Gratitude Leads To Happiness by Martin Goldsmith, Ph.D., appeared on huffingtonpost.com on November 24, 2013. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)

I love the Thanksgiving holiday because it is a reminder to us all that we need to be grateful  for what we have—and the Pilgrims didn’t have much. Mostly they had hardships, but they still believed in gratitude.

The thing that eludes most of us is that this feeling of gratefulness needs to be part of our daily lives and be reflected in our behaviors, especially with those we love. Unfortunately, with the rigors of daily life, we can easily forget that we need to be thankful for whatever we have—even if our life isn’t what we think it should be.

You can’t bargain with gratitude. For example, it doesn’t work to say, “I’ll be grateful when I get this deal done or when he or she says they love me.” If gratitude isn’t a constant in your mental universe, then you may be pushing away some of what you want. Even if what you’re thinking goes unspoken, others will pick up on your attitude.

Creating the habit of gratitude is something that will serve you in all areas of your life. Those who are grateful have less resentment and are usually happier people. The benefits can even extend to your physical wellbeing, and nothing says “I love you” to your partner more than being grateful that he or she is in your life.

Having an attitude of gratitude tells the people we love that we not only appreciate them but also admire and respect them. This feeling gets communicated in all that we do with and for each other. It has more to do with happiness than most people think.

If you are hurt and angry, it is harder to find the gratitude within. You have to get past what is going on for you in the moment and seek some peace by remembering what you have to be grateful for.

Thanksgiving helps us remember that we need to be grateful, but the word alone does that. The experience really goes much deeper when we allow ourselves to feel thanks. Some people have a ritual where they say what they are grateful for at some point during the holiday meal. But really, giving thanks should be a daily ritual.

Gratitude will help you see that what you have is better than what it is you may think you want.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-fitness/201311/how-the-habit-gratitude-leads-happiness