In Germany, the Atlas of Happiness has just published this year’s numbers. Apparently, Germans are as happy as they have not been in a long time. According to this survey, only (?!) 10 % of the Germans are really unhappy. The positive news are that the “Glücklücke” (happiness break) between Eastern and Western Germany has been reduced.
As far as money goes, we can learn two important things from the German survey: 1. that money does make people happy for a short time, but that eventually the “additional happiness” of yet another rise does not affect the level of feeling good any further. 2. Happiness is drastically reduced when inequality is perceived. Nevertheless, health and relationships are two factors which are much more important for happiness according to the Germans.
There is a movie about happiness now, well, a documentary. In short the film is “taking us from the bayous of Louisiana to the deserts of Namibia, from the beaches of Brazil to the villages of Okinawa, HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.”
The thing with happiness is complicated. I mean, there are so many things we strive for because we think that they are the happiness we are missing. The problem is exactly that. First, that we strive for things or states which we do not have. Second, that we think that in the current state we cannot be happy.
Check out this analysis of 5 things we think would make us happy (but will not) by cracked.com. I mean, I guess the page is trying to be funny. But actually there is some truth in the way it explains that fame, wealth, beauty, intelligence and power might have downsides which are much bigger than the happiness they could possibly bring; think about it.