Think about the best things in your life. What would your life be like without your supportive husband, your good health, your house, or your college degree?
When it comes to creating more happiness in life, experts usually tell us to add more things—get a dog, build afriendship, add a gratitude list, etc. But, what about taking things away? Subtraction. Could that make us happier?
Researchers have studied the effect of "mental subtraction"—mentally taking away a positive event. One study found people who contemplated what their life would be like without their health, safe neighborhood, support from others, or achievement had higher life satisfaction than those who did not subtract the event. To show the power of subtraction, these people were also happier than others who focused on existing positive events and how these occurred in their life.