time and happyness

What is a Time Famine and why is it making you unhappy?

I read a fascinating article on the BBC website which examined the results of some recent research into happiness. It turns out that time, not material goods, raises our levels of happiness.

There is now this new phenomenon – Time Famine, where people are increasingly stressed over the daily demands on their time. We are stressed for lack of time. This leads to anxiety and depression. Time is the one thing we all have in equal amounts, but it is how you use it that makes all the difference. According to this latest research, we are now in a Time Famine.

If time, rather than material goods, promotes happiness, then the old saying ‘money can’t buy you happiness’ has now been proven scientifically to be true. How funny is that? The only way to buy more time is to use your money to pay someone to do the jobs you don’t like that impact your daily life. Science says it is a good thing to use money to free up time. So, if you can afford someone to do your ironing, or clean the house for a couple of hours, would it reduce your stress? Could that be worth the extra time you now have to do something you find pleasurable? According to the study, the answer is yes: it is proven to reduce stress and improve wellbeing.

The ironic thing is that the research found that those with most money were also most reluctant to spend it in this way. They prioritised money over time.
If we prioritise time over money then we have a greater sense of wellbeing. Wellbeing is not something that can be bought outright with money. You can go for luxury holidays, regular spa trips or massage treatments, but without those deeper connections, this is superficial wellbeing. What matters is true lifelong wellbeing. How you really feel inside, how you nurture your body with healthy food, and how you train your mind with gratitude and love. Freeing up time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures – a walk by the sea, a 10 minute meditation, a dinner at home with friends – is a good return on an investment.

Go invest wisely and enjoy!

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