It’s no secret that the economy is getting people down. So, how can you feel better, even if you’re worrying about bills, or your job?

According to new research,  the answer may be in something called “positive psychology.” That’s basically a mindset which emphasizes the benefits of staying optimistic, no matter what negativity is going on around you.

  • The first concept positive psychology teaches is that money has very little to do with how much you enjoy life. That’s the word from psychologist Ed Diener, who says true “wealth” comes from having more social interactions with family and friends, not from having more stuff! In fact, many studies have shown that people who have more material goods are often less happy, because the joy a person gains from buying something new tends to wear off quickly. 

  • Another concept we learn from positive psychology is that happiness is often tied to how hopeful you are. Anthony Scioli is a psychologist who says some of the happiest people in the world are people who have undying faith in the future. In other words, they’re lifted by a belief that they’ll always have options in life.  For example: If a hopeful person loses their job, they’ll stay happy because they’re confident they can find temporary work until a better job comes along! Scioli says having more hope brings a kind of happiness that’s more permanent, because it won’t be swayed by your daily ups and downs.

Want some more ideas on how you can practice “positive psychology” in your life? Try this website: SOHP.com. That stands for the Secret Society Of Happy People.