The secret to Happiness has been a topic of interest for millions of people. Everyone wants to the answer and unlock the key to happiness. It seems that recent studies have uncovered at least part of the mystery.

Since happiness is a state of being, there are some simple ways to become happier. You can have a daily routine where you list everything in your life that you are grateful for. You could set aside some time each day to consider all the things in life you are grateful for. This exercise can be difficult to maintain, you need to remain conscious of everything you own rather than feeling it is something you do not need to be grateful for.

Time and money make people happy

It has now been determined that time and money make people happy. Examples of buying time include outsourcing tasks you dislike and investing in a home closer to your place of work to cut your commute and use that time to be with your family.

A recent series of studies led by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Norton concluded that Money can buy happiness as long as you do not spend it on yourself. The study found that people who spent money on other people got happier, while for people who spent money on themselves, nothing happened. Also, the amount of money spent and the type of purchase do not change the "happiness boost".

Prof. Howell, associate professor of Psychology at San Francisco State University, conducted a study published earlier this year.

He found that material purchases are considered better value for the money, because experiences are fleeting, and material goods last longer. However, Prof. Howell found that looking back at their purchases, people realized that experiences actually provided better value.

Why are we not happy?

Time magazine investigated why the increased standard of living over the past 50 years is not making us happy.

Their findings:

1. We overestimate how much pleasure you’ll get from having more.

2. More money often leads to more stress.

3. We endlessly compare ourselves with the family next door.

There is a limit to buying happiness, however. Studies show that rich people are happier than poor people, and people in rich countries are happier than people in poor countries.

Also, happy people do experience negative emotions, but just not as often.

Before you spend all your money...

Before you start buying your way to happiness, remember that you should build a financial safety net. The stress of going into debt buying experiences will cancel out any happiness gained.

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