Money Can’t Buy Happiness: THE TRUTH

Tran Dang, Staff Writer

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Get rich quick! Five ways to become a millionaire! Education, college, career and retirement! Nowadays, society has become hardwired to think that the only way to live the good life is with money. That somehow, along the way, satisfaction and joy will come to them if they continue to seek the gold. Happiness is an afterthought, something to do once one becomes become the next Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg. However, just as the pen is mightier than the sword, happiness is more valuable than money.

 

Happiness can keep people alive. Studies have shown that living a happy life does correlate to longevity. A study of 600 participants conducted in 2001 found that subjects who viewed life in a more optimistic way were more likely to survive.

 

The English Longitudinal Study of Aging also backs up how happiness can relate to longevity. They followed 11,000 people through their lives from 2002-2007 and found that of 924 who weren’t as happy, they were 7.5% more likely to die in the next five years compared to 3.6% who were happier. A 2011 study using 6,000 people found that happier people are 35% less likely to die in the next five years then those that were less happy.

 

Being happy doesn’t just keep you alive longer, it also helps to improve health. A 2007 Harvard study following more than 6,000 men and women ages 25 to 74 concluded that those who were happiest appeared to have reduced risks of coronary heart disease. Happiness doesn’t just reduce risk of heart disease, it also strengthens your immune system.

 

An experiment conducted by The National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health gave 30 participants a harmless pill that would trigger the immune system to respond to a problematic rabbit protein.  On days when the participants were happier, they also had stronger immune responses.

 

A 2003 experiment also backs up this claim. Three hundred and fifty volunteers were exposed to the common cold. Six weeks before, they were asked six times in two weeks to rate how happy they were. The happier people were less likely to develop the cold.

 

Many people will argue that having money means that they can buy things that make them happy. But that isn’t the case. Money doesn’t equal happiness: it’s the lack of money that makes one upset. After making over $75,000, scientist discovered hat money does nothing for happiness, enjoyment, sadness or stress. According to a Study by National Geographic, wealthier people tend to not enjoy the small things in life. Even middle-class people who were reminded of money when they received chocolate got less joy from eating the chocolate bar.

 

Money is a standard in life. The fact is, many people think that money is how society measures the value of someone. Lacking money  makes an individual less of a person. However important the green paper may be, life doesn’t end with it. Some of the most important things in life come from doing what you love and finding the things that make you happy.

 

Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and the end of human existence.” Humans are not robots, we are capable of understanding emotions. Instead of putting others down for a higher statue in a nonexistent ladder, embrace that we are humans, and hunt for the things that bring us joy.  

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