• Emma Green

3 things that won’t make you happy

We tend to be wrong about what actually brings us lasting happiness. Becoming aware of this can help you refocus your goals to help you strive for stuff that will actually be meaningful. Here are 3 things that don't make you happy: ⠀ 1. Having the perfect body: Even when people achieve their 'goal' body they tend to have the same thoughts and beliefs as before. The process of achieving and getting this can also make us unhappy if it involves large amounts of restriction. Having the 'perfect' body can also create a fear of it being temporary, meaning that people obsess about nutrition and exercise because they are worried about losing their progress. Make sure to set performance goals so that you have some non-body related targets to aim towards, such as lifting heavier over time.

2. Having lots of Instagram followers: It can seem that lots of people liking, commenting and following us on social media makes us happy. It can give us instant gratification but it doesn't last, which is why we continue to use it so much. What can make us happy is connection. We can definitely get this from social media but we don't need a lot of followers to make this happen. I'd argue that the larger your following the harder it is to connect with your audience. You'll notice larger accounts tend not to be able to reply to all of their comments, for example.

3. Becoming really rich: Of course, having enough money to meet all your basic needs can improve your happiness, but getting 'rich' won't change much. We know this from lottery winners who experience 'hedonic adaption'. This means that they get an initial boost of happiness but over time the adjust to their new 'normal' and on average are no happier than people who don't win the lottery. At all levels of income, we are to prone to social comparisons, often focusing on those who have more than we do, which makes us feel less happy however much we have ourselves. With the money we do have, research has shown that spending more on experiences and less on material things tends to be more enjoyable.

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