Research: Therapy Increases Happiness More Effectively Than Money

 In Psychotherapy, Toronto Therapist

Have you ever found yourself thinking that you would finally be truly happy, if only if you got that raise you deserve? As it turns out, you are more likely to acquire happiness if you were to simply talk with someone about why you deserve the raise rather than by getting the raise itself.

Researchers at the University of Warwick and the University of Manchester have found that undergoing psychotherapy is more cost effective when it comes to obtaining happiness than the simple act of getting more money. And it’s not just a little more effective—it’s 32 times as effective. That’s a pretty big difference.

The study came to this conclusion by charting people’s levels of happiness, some of whom were participating in therapy while others experienced raises in income. The results showed that a $1,300 therapy course raises a person’s level of contentment so much that it would take an increased income of more than $41,000 to reach an equivalent sense of well-being.

It’s quite a finding: Money doesn’t make you happy, or at least not as happy as exploring your inner self can.

Thinking Globally

The researchers cited two facts to underscore their findings.

Consider this—governments strive toward economic growth under the misconception that it will raise the well-being of the population. However, over the past five decades developed countries have experienced massive levels of economic gain, yet they have not undergone any increases in happiness.

At the same time, studies have shown that mental health issues are on the rise. The study concludes that governments could do a better and more efficient job of increasing their citizens’ happiness by making mental healthcare more accessible than by working toward economic growth.

On an Individual Level

So what does all of this mean for us as individuals? Many people tend to put a lot of effort into making more money. Money, we imagine, will translate into happiness. But according to the findings of this study, more money does not automatically lead to happiness.

Why might therapy, as an alternative, work better? It’s simple (but not necessarily easy): lasting happiness comes from within. It comes from knowing who you are, what you feel and why you feel it. It comes from self-awareness and realization.

It is my belief that engaging in therapy can be like giving yourself the gift of happiness that can come from within you, rather than from outside of you.  Self-knowledge is a powerful tool to finding fulfillment in everyday life.

Based on the study’s findings it’s possible that by participating in psychotherapy and becoming more self-aware, you may find yourself more capable, confident, and happy—three things that can lead to doing better in work and career and hence, making more money.

As long as we hold beliefs that lasting happiness comes through money, we may continue to put the ‘cart before the horse’.

However, by giving ourselves the chance to look inward, learn about who we are, and to grow, we find that happiness can be accessed within ourselves.

And that may be the most valuable treasure of them all.


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