A new study by sociologists at the University of Maryland concludes that unhappy people watch more TV, while people who describe themselves as “very happy” spend more time reading and socializing.
“TV doesn’t really seem to satisfy people over the long haul the way that social involvement or reading a newspaper does,” says University of Maryland sociologist John P. Robinson, the study co-author and a pioneer in time use studies. “It’s more passive and may provide escape – especially when the news is as depressing as the economy itself. The data suggest to us that the TV habit may offer short-run pleasure at the expense of long-term malaise.”
There are doubtlessly more and more people living without TV and finding themselves happier and with greater self-esteem than ever.
San Francisco State University psychologists have found that buying life experiences makes people happier than buying possessions. What does that mean “buying life experiences”? It means buying concert tickets or a weekend away, rather than hitting the mall for material items.
“We know that being an ‘experience shopper’ is linked to greater well being,” said Howell, whose 2009 paper on purchasing experiences challenged the adage that money can’t buy happiness. He suggests it could be easier to change your spending habits than your personality traits. “Even for people who naturally find themselves drawn to material purchases, our results suggest that getting more of a balance between traditional purchases and those that provide you with an experience could lead to greater life satisfaction and well being.”
What do you think about this idea?
I mean who is really surprised by this newest research about the impact of Facebook use on the self-esteem. In Europe the activities in Facebook are already declining, widely discussed in books, ebooks and articles.
A new study made by University Michigan social psychologist Ethan Kross, lead author of the article and a faculty associate at the U-M Institute for Social Research, confirms now that Facebook use predicts decline in happiness. Ethan Kross says: “On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection. But rather than enhance well-being, we found that Facebook use predicts the opposite result—it undermines it.”
The study found that the more people used Facebook during one time period, the worse they subsequently felt. People were asked to rate their level of life satisfaction at the start and end of the study. They found that the more participants used Facebook, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time.
In order to find that it’s the Facebook use that actually lowers people’s self-esteem it is important to hear that the researchers found no evidence that interacting directly with other people via phone or face-to-face influenced well-being negatively. Instead, they found that direct interactions with other people led people to feel better over time.
The researchers hope to conduct additional research with participants from a variety of age groups to examine these results and the psychological mechanisms more closely.
Happiness is a gift. Happiness is also a matter of personal choice.
What’s happening to us in the outside world is often an inside job.
We can approach daily circumstances with an attitude of our choosing. When esteem is an important part of our life we generally choose to be joyful. This joyful inner attitude will attract the outward experience of happiness.
The pursuit of happiness is actually an inward journey. It’s up to us to keep our attitude joyful by living esteem daily.
Our inner joy leads to happiness for us and for other people.
It’s easy to give esteem to somebody in a moment of success or happiness. It’s no problem to acknowledge great life moments, positive actions or friendly words. But what about esteem for moments of failure? How can we acknowledge when somebody falls?
Esteem for moments of failure doesn’t acknowledge the failure itself but its effect on the people involved. Failure happens to everybody because nobody is perfect. Esteem highlights this fact and encourages us to pick ourselves up and go on.
The great effect of esteem in moments like this: it creates motivation to do it better the next time. When people receive esteem in sad moments they receive with it hope that this moment won’t last forever.
With esteem we can help people in realizing what Confucius said: “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.”
How we perceive life situations depends on our general attitude toward life.
If our perspective toward life is determined by a feeling of incertitude and fear we may perceive certain life situations as threatening. If our perspective toward life is led by esteem we may perceive the same life situations with confidence and a good outcome.
You can find out what kind of life perspective you have by asking how you define life situations. Do you define happiness as an absence of sadness or does have happiness for you an autonomous value? Can you spontaneously describe misfortune better than luck?
By giving esteem an important place in your life it can enable you to change your perspective of life in a positive way.
While we try daily to live esteem we often experience that esteem gives us unexpected gifts that make our life easier and happier.
Handling worry in a calm and mature way is one of these gifts given by esteem. We don’t mean that integrating esteem into our life means that we won’t worry anymore. Worrying is a human expression which we can’t just stop like that. What we can change through esteem is our attitude toward worrying.
American author Leo F. Buscaglia said: “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”
This is the kind of knowledge toward which we’re led when we look to create esteem in our life. Esteem makes us realize that worrying should make us alert but never in a panicked or an overwhelming manner.
Sometimes you may feel that the daily things aren’t as important or precious as the so-called “special moments”. The special moments of life are certainly precious and we can acknowledge that.
It’s also important to remember that daily moments are precious too. There is one simple way to help you remember to appreciate the seemingly ordinary moments: try to picture your life without them.
Giving esteem to such daily moments makes you more aware of the preciousness of life in general. Moments don’t need to be huge and overwhelming to be acknowledged. Small moments of daily contentment are equally precious and worthy of esteem.
Dalai Lama once said: “Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful, a meaningful friend – a meaningful day.”
Change is the only constant in life. Everything changes. Our friends change, our life circumstances change, even we change.
Esteem tells us to give meaning to each single moment. When we give esteem to people and to life situations we appreciate them for the moment. Esteem happens always in the moment, never after or before it. When the moment passes, there is a new opportunity to give esteem to somebody else or to another life moment.
Esteem doesn’t hang on to certain people or certain life moments. This means that esteem takes each new day, and every new moment as a new possibility to create new appreciation. When we live esteem we make each single day meaningful, and we make the people around us meaningful.
Voltaire said once: “Esteem is a wonderful thing, It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
Probably you’ve already had the experience that you felt a compliment you gave coming back to you. You almost feel as if you were the one being acknowledged. This is a wonderful effect that esteem has on people.
Giving genuine and honest appreciation to somebody fills us with pride and happiness. We feel as acknowledged as the recipient of our esteem and this makes us happy.
Esteem is reciprocal because it gives both sides a feeling of fulfillment and happiness. The next time you give somebody esteem watch out for the feeling you get as an answer.