In 2010, Diener et al did a huge survey of 136,839 people (who were a representative sample of the population of the world). They found that income is only moderately linked to positive feelings (whether you smiled or laughed yesterday or felt feelings of enjoyment).
Positive feelings are much more influenced by ‘psychological need fulfilment’. Psychological need fulfilment is about whether you have family or friends you could count on in an emergency, and also, whether, when you think about yesterday, you:
- Felt you were treated with respect
- Learned something new
- Did what you do best, and,
- Chose how your time was spent.