Money May Indirectly Help Your Paruresis

People have long thought being rich makes you happier than being poor, and they thought right. But they also believed that if an entire country saw a decrease or increase in wealth, happiness levels of the people’s happiness would fall into suit. Here’s where they thought wrong, according to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

That means if you’re stressing out about the dismal economic state of the nation and allowing this stress to worsen the anxiety that can, in turn, worsen your paruresis, you are in the minority. Most folks, if they have enough to eat, a place to live and even simple possessions like a TV set, enjoy more happiness than those without such amenities – regardless of their country’s economic state.

The study showed results that went against the concept of the “Easterlin Paradox,” which has been kicking around since 1974. “Happiness expert” and happiness study leader Edward Diener explains:

According to the “Easterlin Paradox,” rich individuals are happier than poor ones but rising incomes do not seem to be associated with an increase in happiness. Our research contradicts this concept by finding that rising income will only have an effect if aspirations or desires do not rise even more quickly. If people make more money, they can be happier. But if they are constantly disappointed because they expected to make even more money, then rising income might not help.

That means a positive outlook and realistic expectations are an integral part of the mix to keeping anxiety and stress levels down and happiness levels higher.

Read the full article in Science Daily 

Check out the study:  Ed Diener, Louis Tay, Shigehiro Oishi. Rising Income and the Subjective Well-Being of Nations.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2012.