Life made simple

Sunny or Money? What makes us happy?


Hooray, the sun’s back in town! The weather’s warmer, and everyone’s in a happier mood.

Unless you live in a scorchingly hot region like the Middle East where a typical summer day sees the mercury hit 40 degrees, you probably look forward to summer.

In fact in some colder, northern countries, winter, with its reduced level of sunlight, causes a winter-onset depression called SAD, short for Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s the decrease in sunlight that disrupts the body’s internal clock and causes the mood disorder. A drop in the brain chemical serotonin could also play a role in SAD.

But is happiness just a chemical level caused by sunshine? No, it’s a lot more complex than that.

For some people, a lotto win is their idea of ultimate happiness. Actually, research shows that excessive amounts of money don’t guarantee more happiness than having enough to be comfortable. Once you have a roof over your head, can pay your bills and afford a holiday or a treat here and there – once all those boxes are ticked, fulfillment depends on other things.

Like friendships and a sense of community. No amount of money can buy real social and emotional connection. Today, ironically, we’re less connected than ever before, with technology and social media serving only to create false connections and virtual friendships that just aren’t satisfying.

Go out and get some. Just
don’t forget your sun hat.

The likes you’re getting for the post you just posted will never add up to real happiness. But you know that.

Real connections brings happiness to humans, because we’re social creatures. We need each other. So be a friend, and keep in touch with your buddies.How about attitude? Attitude is everything. A positive approach can determine whether your day is a happy one or a grey one. Compare Eeyore and Tigger. Who has a more optimistic outlook, and who’s happier? It’s your choice whether you wallow in your swamp, or bounce in the sunshine.

Helping others helps you. Feeling sorry for yourself? Find someone less fortunate, someone who needs help, and help them. You’ll feel valued and appreciated, and you’ll also feel grateful for your own circumstances.

Finally, get out there. That sun you love so much, and that fresh, warm air? It’s great medicine for gloominess. When your blood is flowing, the endorphins start to kick in, and magically, you WILL feel happier. And the sun’s medicine, Vitamin D, is a magic potion too.

Go out and get some. Just don’t forget your sun hat.


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