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Happiness Is Not Attained By A Wealthy Life But By A Healthy One.

In an editorial of the famous British Medical Journal it was said that people in London are in pursuit of wealth rather than health // .

Money cannot bring you all the comforts and happiness that a person desires, it is by treasuring the relationships that a happy and long life can be established.

"Individuals usually get richer during their lifetimes – but not happier" said the author.

So, "make sure you're not working so hard that you've no time left for personal relationships and leisure", the author added.

Research from Mexico, Ghana, Sweden, USA and the UK shows that despite vastly different levels of wealth, citizens of these countries report similar levels of satisfaction, and most advanced nations have seen almost no change to individuals' happiness levels over the last 50 years, despite a huge hike in income.

Out of several reasons citied by the author, one could be the peer pressure, because of which people don't experience wealth unless they compare it with others, and once they satisfy one set of their aspirations, the other emerges.

"As we realize one set of aspirations, it seems we immediately trade up to a more expensive set, to which we transfer our hopes for happiness," said the author.

The study also shows that happiness affects health as well, as demonstrated in the former Soviet Union where people are "among the unhappiest in the world" and their life expectancy is dropping.

Nevertheless, one can improve one's chance of happiness by being married, says the author. Married people live on average three years longer and have better health and wellbeing than the unmarried. Well developed family, social and community networks – "social capital" – also have a positive effect.

Work is the key to individual satisfaction, adds the author. Scant control over workload or decision-making correlates with lower happiness levels.

The author concluded by saying that happiness of its citizens should be the prime responsibility of government, with ministers as answerable on happiness levels as they are on a nation's gross domestic product (GDP).


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