Learning Strategies Blog

How Financial Security Relates to Happiness

by Paul Scheele

Take a minute to envision your future. What does it look like five years from now? Ten years?

Maybe you’re chasing children, or grandchildren, through a grassy lawn… Running the business you have always dreamed of… Or relaxing in retirement.

Or, maybe sunny days ahead are shadowed by concerns around financial security. According to findings from Princeton University, these concerns could be lessening your happiness and life satisfaction today.

Talya Miron-Shatz, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton, compared overall satisfaction levels of nearly 1,000 women of varying ages and incomes. For her research, published in the scholarly journal Judgment and Decision Making, Miron-Shatz asked participants to consider their future in an open-ended manner.

Those who raised financial concerns—around retirement, college tuition, or the ability to make ends meet, etc.— were less satisfied with life than those who did not.

Regardless of income level, participants who made no mention of finances reported being the happiest and most satisfied.

“Even if you are making a hundred grand a year, if you are constantly worried that you are going to get fired, that you are going to lose your health insurance, or that you are simply not sure you are going to ‘make it,’ you are not going to be happy,” explains Miron-Shatz.

“It’s not about greed,” she adds. “It’s about knowing whatever it is you have, be it your McMansion or your motor home, won’t be taken from you.”

Your day-to-day life experience gives you all you need to create financial well-being. In our Financial Security Paraliminal, we recommend mentally reviewing each day as a powerful way to help you progress in the areas of earning, saving, and spending you are aiming to improve.

As you complete your day, sit back and relax. Recall yourself in different situations from the day, but do not judge yourself. Notice how you responded to the situations. Recognize and acknowledge the thoughts, words, actions, or feelings that helped you progress in a positive direction by asking yourself:

  • Did I do things to move in the direction of my goals?
  • Did I miss any opportunities to progress, or make choices that led me astray?
  • What might I do differently if faced with a similar situation?

Taking stock of your financial choices helps you act more decisively. And acknowledging your successes increases your self-confidence and level of trust within yourself. Your brain will automatically work to create more success in your life.

To help you release worries about money and create new habits of earning and spending that lead to greater financial well-being, I recommend you listen to the Financial Security Paraliminal. Simply push play, close your eyes, relax, and listen. This closed-eye process activates your “whole mind” with a precise blend of music and words to help you get the most out of every minute.

To learn more about Financial Security and all our other Paraliminal programs, please click here.