In recent years, there's been lots of great new research on happiness psychology. From an emotional perspective, it appears that an ebullient personality is in part hereditary -- but optimism and resilience can also be quite deliberately learned. I believe that's so: and that most of us (barring intermittent life crises) are just about as happy as we choose to be. (Yeah, I know that sounds tough: but happiness isn't chocolate syrup that someone else will pour over my head . . . no it's not).
What about money? So many people spend so much on lotteries and casinos. And yet research also indicates that most people aren't actually happier after scoring a big lottery win. Lotteries bug me frankly: I think of them as a voluntary tax on the poor and the credulous, and I don't think governments should fund essential services through gambling. Even if they call it "gaming"!!
The conventional wisdom is that you "can't buy happiness".
But: there are ways of spending money that do tend to increase contentment.
1. Buying experiences instead of "stuff";
2. Being conscious that a particular item or experience is a "treat": keeping it special;
3. Spending money to free up time (so often, buying a new gadget actually uses up time: hmmmmm);
4. Paying for the new experience or item first: planning and saving for the vacation/big screen TV in advance means I'll enjoy it more!
5. Giving to others rather than spending on me me me. Yeah.
All worth thinking about. And: I think in many ways transferable to "weight loss maintenance" economics too! Maybe like this . . .
1. Doing new things (not even necessarily exercise!) instead of eating stuff, because there are more ways of experiencing pleasure than through the mouth . . . ;
2. Really tasting those fresh raspberries, every one of 'em . . . and reminding myself they're a better treat than potato chips (they are way more beautiful to look at, to smell, and yup they really do taste better, and don't leave my mouth all dehydrated either);
3. The prewashed lettuces and preshredded carrots may cost a tiny bit more: but if they save time so I'm more likely to make salads for my lunches they are worth it, right? Especially if the alternative is a more expensive high calorie fast food burger and fries!
4. Tracking my nutrition today for tomorrow: already "paid for"!! And within calorie budget!!
5. Giving to others? Actually, what works for me is NOT giving others the power to get me eating stuff I don't wanna be eating . . . but I'm prepared to share some of my soup now and again . . . if the recipient really and truly is prepared to appreciate it!! This week is a gorgeous minestrone!!
Yeah!! There are a lot of connections between weight loss maintenance and money . . . and when I run up my "calorie credit card", it's a real burden to lug around the extra pounds!!