How many times have you heard that money can’t buy happiness? A gazillion at least, right? Although this age-old wisdom holds a lot of truth, it’s actually not that black and white. What really matters in the relationship between money and happiness is the fact that the amount of money you make matters less than how you spend it. To show you what we mean, here’s a handful of small purchases that can actually boost your mood right away.
1. Tools of reflection
Introspection happens differently for everyone, but the positive effects of it have been proven time and time again. However, we adults usually consider it very hard to push ourselves to continuously reflect on our thoughts in writing. Even if it’s proven to boost our energy levels, mood and make us more confident. It just requires so much effort to start. But filling in some blanks, guided by repeated prompts — something the Five-Minute Journal offers — is far less daunting. Half the work is basically done, so it’s not much effort at all. It’s super fun!
2. Houseplants and flowers
Studies have shown that indoor plants immediately enhance well-being. They shorten recovery time from illness, diminish hospital stays and decrease the need for pain meds. They are also a great low-maintenance option to satisfy your need to take care of someone without making a large commitment such as adopting a dog or a cat. Or, you know, a partner.
Cost: ca £10
3. Tracking devices
They say that on average, we spend 10 minutes each day looking for misplaced items. That’s over an hour a week, trying to find our keys, wallets, mobile phones, glasses and whatever else that is important to us. That’s where a handy little helper called Tile comes in. It’s a tiny little Bluetooth-activated gadget you can attach to anything you want, and accompanied by a mobile app, it lets you find it quickly. 10 minutes saved every day is over 60 hours saved a year. That has got to be worth something, right?
4. Workout Clothes
Establishing a workout routine is really hard, but luckily there’s a trick that makes it much easier. Shawn Achor, in The Happiness Advantage, developed the “20-second rule,” which speaks to our increased likelihood of doing things that are easy to start. One of the easiest ways to nudge yourself to do anything is by making sure you feel good about your appearance while you’re doing it. So, instead of trying to make it work with your worn-out T-shirts, upgrade to moisture-wicking and fitted workout clothes that actually make you want to get out there.
Cost: ca £40
5. Random Acts of Monetary Kindness
According to research, spending money on others boosts happiness more than spending it on yourself. But it’s not about bigger wedding gifts or picking up the tab for the entire group at dinner. Small investments in other people can have the biggest rewards. Not only will they boost your mood instantly, but they will also encourage the recipient of your good deed to pay it forward resulting in even more happiness.
Cost: Tall latte at Starbucks for the person in line behind you £2.00; buying someone a train ticket £4; getting lunch for your colleague £5.
Let your imagination roam free.
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