What You Should Really Know About Happiness And Money
By: Samantha Dewitt
Updated February 20, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC
You've probably heard plenty of people tell you that 'money can't buy happiness' right? Well, it's the truth. You can buy items with money, but you'll never be able to buy your way to happiness. Happiness is something that comes from inside of you and it comes from the people around you and the life that you live. Sure, you can have money and be happy, but you can also be extremely poor or even destitute and still be happy. It's all about the other things in your life.
Rich And Happy
The truth is, being wealthy often comes with its own set of problems. Where many people think that a little money (or a lot of money) would solve all their problems, that's rarely ever the case. For most people, they find that when they have more money it just adds to what was going wrong in their lives. Money may create a sense of division among people. Those with less may feel resentful, those with more may not want to share their wealth.
As money divides people, it causes anger, jealousy, betrayal and a number of other emotions that can create many problems. On top of dividing people, people who get a lot of money suddenly find that it doesn't fix relationships that were already damaged. It doesn't make them less lonely to suddenly have a boat. It doesn't make them less stressed to now have a huge home. It doesn't make the tragedy they experienced suddenly go away because there's a fancy car in the driveway.
It's possible to be wealthy and have happiness, but it doesn't come from the money itself. Rather, it comes from the people themselves.
Poor and Happy
People can be happy with less wealth, but it's entirely possible for people to think that money would solve their problems and then resent the fact that they don't have enough for the things that they want in their life. When there is no money, it's easy to feel like having more would fix everything. Being able to buy all the things that you want would make everything better, right?
The truth is that not having money can be just as divisive as having a lot of it. People who don't have money have the same chance of feeling anger, jealousy, and betrayal as their wealthy counterparts. They're also just as likely to have problems in relationships, to be lonely or to be stressed. In fact, in many instances, someone who is poor may have a higher likelihood of these things because there is no money available to help their family.
On the other hand, someone who is poor could also be extremely happy. These are the individuals who realize that money isn't the most important thing. They are the people who know that in order to be happy they need to be content with what they have and to love the people that they surround themselves with. They know that to continue to grow and continue to be stronger and better to the people around them doesn't mean getting more money. It means being there, being supportive, and just loving one another. For people who have nothing else, at times this is the only thing that holds them together.
What Makes You Happy?
The best thing you can do to make yourself truly happy isn't winning the lottery or building a million-dollar business. Rather, it's building a million-dollar friendships. Reach out to the people who matter to you and build up the relationships you have with them. Show them love and compassion and friendship and create a relationship that you wouldn't give up no matter what it cost you. Being around people you care about and who care about you can offer feelings of love and belonging.
A sense of gratitude for what is present in your life can also support feelings of happiness. Taking note of what is going well for you or your family, things that are going well at work, the things that you do have materially and otherwise, will help increase feelings of happiness.
Why You Don't Need Money
Money causes many challenges for both those with much of it and those without it. While it's necessary for survival, money won't replace many of the things that offer happiness, like good relationships and connection with others. It's important to realize that feeling happy 100% of the time isn't realistic. Everyone experiences ups and downs, challenges, stressors, and other things that impact their mood from moment to moment. Recognizing the temporary status of emotions and focusing on what things are good are great ways to enjoy periods of happiness and navigate periods of life where it seems in short supply.
Getting Professional Help
If you're struggling with any kind of relationship problems or mental health problems, consider seeking out professional input. A mental health professional can help support you in your relationships, your personal growth, and managing your emotions.
BetterHelp is one way that you can get the mental health support that you're looking for. You don't have to worry about finding a therapist in your area or going to the office with everyone watching you. There aren't concerns about travel to appointments or fitting them in during your busy workweek. Instead, this service is carried out entirely online. All you must do is log on and you'll be able to find out the information that you want and connect with a mental health professional while you're at it.