It is becoming more and more visible that our state of happiness varies with the economy, now we can say that it may depend on the foreclosure crisis.
We are happier in wealthy times and we just do not go well when the economy is shaky, when foreclosure can affect our property as well. A U.S. survey showed that Americans’ mood deteriorated in December compared to November 2009 because of the worries caused by the possibility of job loss on the background of the increasing number of foreclosures.
However, things are not so simple, and most of the times happiness is not directly proportional to money. It seems that our state of happiness rather depends on our relative wealth. That means on how much money we have in comparison to our neighbor, than absolute wealth. I would insist a little on this idea.
Human nature can be very low sometimes; it can be so easily lured by material assets. They want to have a great house because their neighbor, who was the silliest in their class, has just built a new house.
They are not aware of the neighbor’s money sources, but they know they need a loan, and they want that house, no matter how much they have to pay for it. It sounds rather stupid, I am sure. Even if it is obvious I must add that if people had not been attracted to wealth, to relative wealth, maybe the foreclosure crisis could have been avoided.
In addition, researchers have found that, while rich countries are happier than the poor are, their happiness does not necessarily increase as they accumulate more. One explanation could be that people’s expectations increase with wealth. Moreover, material excesses can cause material wellbeing, and the vicious circle seems to be never-ending.
Here are some tips for those people who consider themselves unlucky because of the foreclosure crisis. Those who feel unhappy and affected by the economic and foreclosure crisis can try the following strategies proposed by “experts in happiness”:
1. Do not forget about self-esteem! Get enough sleep, enough exercise and eat healthier than before.
2. Be more generous – a generous gesture reminds you that you still have much to offer, even when they know you are a little poorer.
3. Use your time and money for enjoyable activities too – travel (low cost flights), cooking with friends, join dance classes. You do not need to a pay rise to learn something new that can help you progress, like a new computer program, a foreign language, a new hobby.
4. Invest in relationships with loved ones. With little money, you can make a trip to see your parents or otherwise to spend a weekend together with your beloved one.
5. Remember things that you are grateful for. For example, if you lost your job, remember the other dreams that have come true, like living in town or getting married to the right person. It does not mean to minimize what is happening, but not to focus only on this issue.
Karen Anne, has been working on CheapHomesListings.com studying the foreclosures market, helping buyers on the finer points of foreclosed homes.