Money is a major factor which can cause happiness or unhappiness within society, and it has been a major topic of discussion on whether money purely by itself can bring happiness to individuals. This post looks to analyse and evaluate the relationship between money and happiness and whether external factors are more important in causing happiness.
How money can cause Happiness
Firstly, on one hand it is obvious that money has a massive potential to bring happiness. Having money allows individuals to fulfil their direct needs such as food, water, shelter, heating and clothing. This well help offer a sense of security and comfort, reducing stress. Money will also provide people with the opportunity to travel the world with no limits on what people can do and where they go. Everybody is happy on vacation and by having money it is like you are on an everyday vacation with no limits boundaries or anything holding you back.
How money fails to bring happiness
However, it is important to note that most people believe that money alone cannot buy happiness, and this is shown through many celebrities suffering from depression despite having lots of money, such as robin Williams who suffered from depression before his death. It is true that money can provide happiness and comfort however this is only short term and will not stop the problems with people’s mental health. Daniel Kahneman found that people with higher salaries were not necessarily happier than people with lower incomes (as long as their basic needs were met.) Increasing money results in increasing freedom, however this means rich people have lots of spare time which can lead them to overthink and unnecessarily stress. Having more money can lead to repetitive consumerism where people compete with their neighbours and friends to get the most recent and up to date material possession such as phones and the iPad. This could lead to a sense of emptiness and dissatisfaction as individuals don’t know how to spend there money well and the idea of money is not necessarily important. Furthermore, people who purely focus on just money risk letting their relationships with their family and friends deteriorate which could lead to individuals feeling lonely and sad.
To continue the impact that money has on social relationships is a major factor that has to be considered. Money allows individuals to give great presents which can give serotonin to individuals and lead to increased happiness. Richer people also have an increased opportunity to take part in fun sociable activities such as sport. However people with money may cut themselves of from people without money leading them to live their lives in complete isolation. Extraverts in particular are most likely to feel depressed if they can not socialise and build good human connections despite having money, showing that it is likely that money alone cannot buy happiness.
Another factor that has to be considered is the impact money can have on a persons values and beliefs. Increased desire for money can lead to unethical behaviour in order to get this money resulting in them compromising their values to acquire this wealth. This may lead people with money to be unhappy as they do not like the person they have become.
Other factors affecting happiness
Finally, research shows that individuals who have a optimistic outlook on life are more likely to experience a happy life than those with a pessimistic outlook, regardless of their financial position. This is because individuals who are optimistic are most likely to focus on the good things going on in their life rather striving for more, whereas individuals who have the goal of achieving increasing wealth are likely to experience dissatisfaction as they constantly want more leading to them never feeling fulfilled with what they have.
In conclusion although that money can bring happiness to many particularly to those who are under tremendous financial stress. It is important to understand that the relationship between money and happiness is a very complex relationship with many factors to consider. Money can aid by providing comfort, security, and endless opportunities. However Money commonly leads disconnection from society causing people with money to neglect the relationships they have with people. Ultimately happiness is not something that can be brought with just money, it is just a fraction of what causes happiness as an individual’s mood is down to many different fact