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psychological wealth

This post first appeared on Piping Rock. All content is theirs.

When you think about wealth, what comes to mind? Be honest and go with your first vision. We’re going to go so far as to say that the first thing that came to mind was green, maybe rectangular and there was probably an old dude in the center. Are we right? Yes. Money. When we think wealth, as a society, we are programmed to think of it in terms of monetary value. Yet, this is not the only way in which the word should be associated in your brain. Today, we are taking a stand and will attempt to retrain your brain (ha-ha, cliché) and think of wealth in terms of psychology. In other words, we’re about to make you pretty rich. You can thank us later. A few years back, a study conducted at Princeton University came out and shocked *probably* most of the Western world. The researchers found the optimal level of income and its correlation to happiness. What they found, you wonder? It was one million dollars a year. Just kidding. It was actually a lot less: 75,000. They found that participants who made this much could live freely, without concerns of lower tier income levels and were evidently the happiest. In fact, the higher the income level after 75,000 didn’t make a difference. Weird, considering we think success equates a six figure income, right?1 T

hat was a few years ago, and since then, we’ve all become more self-aware realizing that happiness comes from the inside. And, by inside, we mean our own minds. This is where the concept of psychological wealth comes into play. You could be the richest person, but as it turns out, if you have no locus of control or strong social relationships…chances are, you aren’t happy. Humans are inherently social beings and as such, we need to feel connected and loved. Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy? That would apply here. In fact, there have been countless cases of how friendship affects people. In one study done by Lord Richard Layard, well-being creation was shown to be more important than wealth creation as misery could be reduced by 20% by friendships, yet a mere 5% by eliminating poverty.2  Does this surprise, anyone? Think about when you were in college with small amounts of money but loads of friends, wouldn’t you say that was one time of optimal happiness? Needless to say there are obviously multiple factors that go into being psychologically wealthy and none of them point towards money. With that said, here are three ways you can try to boost your happiness and mental paycheck this week:

  1. Reconnect with your friends: It’s important to nourish friendships, as learned above they are one major source of overall happiness. If you have free time, plan a weekend gathering to cook together or have a potluck. If you’re short on time busy being a parent or have a demanding job, make the effort to call (gasp! A call?!) your closest friends to see how they are doing. Remember, it doesn’t matter how often you see your friends, as much as it does that you have that support system in place.
  2. Practice Mindfulness: If we’ve learned anything in recent years, it is the power of silence. Yep, getting close to yourself and your breath is one step to shutting out the outside world and connecting to you. To be happy, you need to be happy internally. The first step to doing that is finding clarity and refocusing your spirit. Our favorite way to do such? Through meditation! So grab a sunny spot in your home or a shadowy spot under a tree, close your eyes, and meditate for a minimum of five minutes. If at home, grab our Calming Essential Oil Roll On, it pairs perfectly with the occasion.
  3. Take time to smile: One thing that improves our mood is smiling. Have you ever smiled and been mad at the same time? Likely no. It’s a genuine way to connect with others and it can actually trick the brain into feeling positive things3! So next time you feel like walking around glum, remember you can change your mood through your actions and in turn, increase overall mind wealth!

With all that, we’ve given you the first deposit into your psychological wealth bank. It’s now up to you to continue with your savings. We wish you luck!

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