Do you have trouble letting go of the past? Could you be living too much in the present? According to a study published in the Journal of Happiness of Studies, being too fixated on a specific time frame may not be conducive to your happiness. For you to be happy, researchers say, you must adopt a balanced time perspective.

San Francisco State University researcher Ryan Howell and his colleagues have found that being too fond of the past may keep you from fully enjoying your life. On the other hand, living life on a day-to-day basis may mean neglecting your future. 

"If you're really dominant in one type of perspective, you're very limited in certain situations," says Howell. "To deal well when you walk into any situation, you need to have cognitive flexibility. That is probably why people with a balanced time perspective are happiest."

At the moment, Howell is directing The Personality and Well-being Lab. He and his graduate students are currently collecting consumer information through their website, Beyond the Purchase. A collaboration among social psychologists, the site aims to find out more about people’s spending habits as well as help participants apply a balanced time perspective to their own consumer choices.


(Photo by YangChen(TW) via Flickr Creative Commons)

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