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Money Makes You Smile, or Does It?

The effect and power money has over human emotions.

Does money really buy happiness?

To answer this question truthfully and honestly yes, money does indeed buy happiness. However, money may only temporarily 'rent' happiness for the foreseeable future until the initial excitement ends or if the person is already wealthy. Recent experimental studies were conducted with participants that were gifted £10,000 and were required to spend it all within 3 months. Each participant's happiness' was recorded every month with them ranking how satisfied they were with their lives on a scale of 1-7. The group that received the £10,000 reported higher levels of happiness over the 3-month time scale and after this,


Why does money 'buy' happiness?

The definition of happiness is different for everyone, with different perceptions and triggers making a person happy. When receiving a large sum of money, a person that doesn't already have access to this will have an increase in happiness as shown in the study above. Money does not only allow for materialistic gain but can also grant freedom and therefore grant happiness. In todays 'rat race' society freedom is regarded to be unobtainable as many people are stuck in a 9-5 job that they do not enjoy leading them to struggle to gain freedom due to financial pressures such as the cost of living crisis in the UK. With a sufficient amount of money, a person can achieve 'financial freedom' allowing them to exit the 'rat race' and achieve their form of happiness whether this is from freedom or materialistic gain overall showing the power of money.

Loss of control and uncertainty and two main factors that cause stress to the human brain. A prime example of this is the current economical state of the UK with living becoming extremely expensive causing uncertainty in places that were previously taken for granted such as food and warmth. However, this only affects lower-income households or the lower and middle class as the wealthy have enough money for this to not affect them. From this money has brought happiness through buying safety and security.


The dark side of money-

With money being able to provide basic needs such as heat, shelter, and food it is highly sought after therefore making it a very powerful and influential asset. Because of this, money has a huge influence over human emotions and is regularly the cause of conflicts and wrongdoing actions. With becoming wealthy being very desirable to the majority of the population, the repercussions of this are not talked about enough. Many well-known celebrities have touched on the subject that money has caused problems for them such as mental health problems and real-world problems with money attracting false intentions, guilt, and being judged unfairly. More money more problems?


Money and social media-

With the introduction of social media, the power and influence of money have only risen and will continue to with an obsession with creating a desirable lifestyle becoming more and more relevant. Having flashy cars, jewelry, holidays and exciting trips is essential when creating a desirable 'social life'. Coincidently to obtain such items/experiences large sums of money are required. This, therefore, emphasizes the value of money in todays society and is a main factor of greed and the exploitation of people.


Money and mental health

Money usually correlates negatively to mental health with recent events such as the cost of living crisis leaving many homes cold and fridges empty. Alongside this money also impacts mental health in other ways. As previously mentioned, social media plays a large part in this, especially in the younger generations. With social media promoting lavish lifestyles, many young people can feel as though they have already fallen behind when in reality they have not had a chance to start. This content is consumed regularly and has become normal when in fact it creates a false reality and unreachable standards for the younger generations.

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