To Be a Super Financer
Over the past few decades we have seen big jumps in economic growth in countries such as the U.S. and Japan, but only small increases in reported happiness. Surveys of lottery winners and people in the Forbes 100 list have found they are not much happier than the average person.
So you can be happier, no matter what your income level.
Stop comparing. When people make relative-income comparisons, they frequently look at those who have more-and get upset when their income compares unfavorably, according to a study by Andrew Oswald of England's Warwick University. Even if our incomes are rising, we tend to become less happy if the incomes of others are rising even more. Never measure your financial achievements against anything except your own goals.
Be grateful. Professor Sonia Lyubomirsky of University of California Riverside had subjects write down five things they were thankful for. "Gratitude seems to be incompatible with some negative emotions. It's hard to feel envious or greedy or bitter when you're grateful," Lyubomirsky explains. One group wrote on a weekly basis; the other group three times a week; and a control group didn't write at all. Only the group that did the exercise once a week experienced a significant rise in gratitude.