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Time, Not Material Goods, ‘Raises Happiness’

The old adage that money can’t buy happiness has a twist to it in that, indeed, it can buy happiness if you use the money to “buy” time, rather than material goods. As reported by BBC, researchers found that paying someone to do your chores — essentially “buying” you time to do something else — does make you happier. Study participants were given £30 ($40) to spend on material goods and things that freed up their time. They reported feeling happier after the time purchases.

In many ways, this study really isn’t so surprising as other studies show that many things take precedence over money. It’s just that this study “bought” time — a thing we all would like more of. Aside from paying someone to do your chores, another way of “buying” time is to clear out the clutter in your life by learning to live with less. By so doing, many people report that their happiness levels do go up.

Another thing that increases happiness and doesn’t cost a thing is friendship. Studies have shown that focusing on relationships along with your physical and mental health can reduce depression and anxiety. In fact, having a strong social network of good friends is a key indicator of happiness — so go for it! Relish your friendships and revel in the rewards they offer.

If you are feeling anxious or worried about something in your life, there is also a way to help deal with these emotions through something called “imagery.” Imagery is the natural language of your brain, which is in part why guided imagery exercises are so powerful for changing thoughts and behavior. In other words, you can actually use your imagination to help you set goals, stay on track and develop a deeper self-awareness about what and how you think — and ultimately be happier.
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