#HappyFacts: Sync and Swing

Each week, Live Happy Radio presents #HappyFacts designed to enlighten, educate and entertain you.
Here’s a look at what we’re talking about this week:

Paying your bills makes you happy

OK, well, maybe it’s not the actual bill-paying part that puts some extra spring in your step and brings a smile to your face, but the effects of paying those bills are enormous.
 
A study from Purdue University found that being in debt lowers your level of subjective well-being, or how you experience the quality of your life. While many studies have looked at how much money it takes to reach a state of well-being, few have looked at how the debt-to-income ratio affects us. And, it turns out, debt is a huge detractor from our happiness, regardless of how much we make, accounting for about 40 percent of our life satisfaction.
 
What still needs to be studied is how different types of debt affect us – say, paying a mortgage for a home you love vs. paying a hospital bill – but until then, it appears that paring down your debt is good for your soul as well as your credit score.
 

Sync and swing

Do you want your kids to get along better? Next time they’re fighting, try sending them to the swing set instead of to their rooms.
 
According to a study published online in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, the synchronous movement found while swinging can help children once they leave the playground by teaching them to be more collaborative. That’s because the synchronous movement that occurs while swinging requires the children to pay attention to one another and they begin engaging each other to maintain the same rhythm. (Similar outcomes are found when children march or make music together.)
 
So if you want to teach your kids more about cooperation, maybe it’s time to head to the playground! 
 

Get a blast from the past

Thinking about the good old days can actually make you feel better about the here and now. That’s the conclusion of a study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
 
According to their findings, thinking fondly about the past can create psychological comfort and combat feelings of loneliness. Those warm memories help raise our self-esteem and overall feelings of well-being which, in turn, generates more optimism about the future.
 
So next time you’re feeling a little blue, step back in time for a few moments and see what it can do for your mood!
 

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