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Why Personal Freedom May Be More Important to Happiness Than Wealth

January 12th, 2012 Inspirational

You've probably heard the old saying that money can't buy happiness. Recent studies have shown that this could ring more true than you might think! An American Psychological Association analysis of data published by more than 60 countries reveals that individuals with more personal autonomy and independence generally seem to exhibit less signs of negative psychological symptoms than those who reported higher levels of monetary wealth.

"Across all three studies and four data sets, we observed a very consistent and robust finding that societal values of individualism were the best predictors of well-being," wrote the authors. In fact, previous research has shown that once people earn enough money to meet their personal needs, additional income tends to only make them marginally happier.

In other words, if you're busting your buns at work trying to earn that promotion, your lot in life may not improve as much as you think it will when you get it. Instead of tying yourself to your job, try to define yourself by your personality and interests and less by the whims of others.

You may find yourself feeling a lot better about how everything is going if you really focus on increasing your independence. It's important to be able to think and make decisions for yourself, and relinquishing that sense of control could cause more harm than you realize. If you're constantly "on-call" for work, you may want to think about making changes that can give you more time to yourself. You may enjoy more peace of mind and happiness than before!