Native Americans may hold the key to being happy without money health and wellness

In 2012, Britons Adrian and Gillian Bedford won 190 million euros in the EuroMillions lottery. Months later, they divorced and in the following years married people who cheated on them, quarreled with their family, and fell into debt due to bad investments. In 1988, William Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania (USA) lottery. A year later, her brother paid an assassin to kill her and get her fortune. Post survived, but took his own life with debts of over one million euros.

Stories of lottery winners who ultimately go bankrupt are abundant and, according to some media outlets, they are not anecdotal. The idea that 70% of lottery winners are broke after five years is attributed to widely cited work by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) in Denver (USA). The organization denied in 2018 that it had a study of its own with these findings and attributed the confusion to an attendee at a meeting organized by NEFE in 2001 who had invented the data. Later studies show that lottery winners feel better after winning the prize and the percentage of bankruptcies among winners has been estimated at less than 6%. However, despite denials, this figure continues to be published, showing the need to believe that money does not buy happiness. However, many scientific studies say the opposite.

In a recent work on this topic, Matthew Killingsworth of the University of Pennsylvania (USA) and Daniel Kahneman of Princeton tested their own results on the relationship between money and emotional well-being. Kahneman observed in a 2010 study that well-being, at least among Americans, increases with income until it reaches $75,000 a year. Later the effect wears off. Killingsworth, with its application track your happiness (Sigue tu felicidad), which asks users how they feel at random times of the day, concluded in 2021 that money increased happiness above $75,000, and the threshold found by Kahneman. Was not seen.

In a joint study designed to resolve their disagreements, researchers saw that they were both right to some extent: For 80% of people, earning more money doesn’t eliminate the emotional benefits, but for 20% of people, $100,000 does. In one of the years, those profits mean nothing.

Money, in itself, does not bring happiness, but it allows us to do things that make us feel better. One way for both the rich and the poor to achieve this is by spending money on other people. Obviously, the rich can invite more people. Another factor that is related to subjective well-being is good social relationships and it seems that those with higher socioeconomic status are easier to have. In general, although people who earn more money may sometimes have very long work hours, they have more control over how they organize their time than those who make less. earn and who, in many cases, also work very long hours.

However, with something as esoteric as happiness, it is unreasonable to think that your search can be limited to trying to earn more. Economist Richard Easterlin suggests that, once basic needs are met, increasing income does not increase well-being. According to their data, time spent with family or taking care of one’s health has a more lasting impact than money, which loses its effect like a drug to which one becomes addicted. “People spend too much time on financial goals,” Easterlin says. This is because, according to him, individuals believe that their aspirations will be the same now as they will be in the future, and they do not realize that their aspirations will also be the same as profits increase. Furthermore, people do not learn because, when asked how they felt in the past, they evaluate themselves by their current material aspirations, not by lower aspirations from years ago. “As a result, most individuals spend a disproportionate share of their lives earning money and sacrificing family or health, areas in which aspirations remain fairly stable as circumstances change,” Easterlin concluded.

The relationship between money and happiness is even more complex. magazine a few days ago PNAS A study was published that measured the life satisfaction of people living in societies located on the margins of the globalized world, who in many cases are members of indigenous populations and who have very few economic resources; Per capita wealth is between 500 and 1000 euros, compared to more than 40,000 in Spain or 65,000 euros in Austria. Despite this apparent poverty, among the Mapuche of Lonquime, a mountainous region of southern Chile, the reported level of satisfaction is 8.1 out of 10. In the Amambay region of Paraguay, the Guarani reached 8.2, the Colas of Argentina’s northern highlands at 8, the Tibetans of Shangri-La at 7.9, and the Ribeirinhos of the Brazilian Amazon at 8.4. With the same scale, in 2021 the EU average was 7.2 and Austria, the happiest country, had an average of 8.

Eric Galbraith, a professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and first author of the study, believes the positive results for many of these communities may be related to comparison. “People are always comparing themselves to others, and those of us who live in a monetized society have a clear way of comparing ourselves to other people because of money, and we can feel satisfied if we have enough money. Or more than the people you compare yourself to.” “, he points out. This comparative factor is seen in other analyses, showing how in the most unequal societies, the benefits of earning a lot of money and the problems of having less are more extreme. This means that where equity is less Yes, there the relationship between income and happiness is strong.

Galbraith, who conducted his study as part of an analysis of the impact of climate change on these societies on the margins of the industrialized world, believes that future work that explores how rapid economic growth could What can create happiness without necessity. Help us understand how to improve humanity’s well-being without destroying natural resources. Some of the societies with the best scores on the perception of happiness have a strong sense of community, a close connection with nature and deep spirituality that may explain part of their well-being beyond money. “Perhaps, with directed social effort over a few decades, we can learn to recover these aspects in our society and we will be able to increase subjective well-being beyond what economic growth allows, that would be my hope,” Galbraith summarizes.

Marino Pérez, of the Spanish Academy of Psychology, is skeptical about the usefulness of measuring happiness to guide public policies and achieve citizens more satisfied with their lives. He says, “Happiness has no set meaning, it depends on each person, each moment and the society to which they belong.” “Happiness has to do with a virtuous life, which is interested in the common good, and not with this individualistic and individualistic spirit which is characteristic of developed countries, and especially of Anglo-Saxon countries, where one wonders all the time whether He is happy by comparing himself to others, to others,” he continues. In his opinion, the well-being of the traditional societies in Galbraith’s study may be due to the fact that “these people are not concerned with happiness, Rather, they are busy with the activities of life.”

Easterlin observed that, although personal happiness is consistently associated with increased income, when the level of happiness in a country is analyzed, it does not increase with the economy. Some data may support this paradox: despite economic growth in recent decades, the mental health of the youth population, which increased in times of prosperity, is rapidly deteriorating. Pérez suggests that, on the one hand, “consumer capitalism is based on individuals who are not satisfied with what they have and want things they don’t have,” a madness that “is infecting traditional societies.” Can.” Secondly, he believes that “concern about happiness is one of the causes of the mental health problem of Western societies and new generations.” “The pursuit of happiness is a bad thing. He added, “Happiness is much more retrospective than prospective.” From this perspective, it is not so bad to remember and realize that we were happy, even if we did not know it.

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(TagstoTranslate)Happiness(T)Health(T)Science(T)Psychology(T)Clinical Psychology(T)Sociology(T)Money

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