Editor’s Note: Today, we turn to Manward Press founder Andrew Snyder for some wise – and scientifically proven – words on the perfect day of the week. If you’d like to hear more from Andy on how to live a richer, more fulfilled life, click here to sign up for his brand-new free e-letter, Manward Digest.
For as long as I can remember, Saturday has been my sacred day. I’ve always felt better, more productive and simply happier on Saturday. Almost everybody I talk to feels the same way.
Now there’s science that tells us why.
When I was in grade school, Saturday was the day my grandfather would come to the house. Just after the morning news, he’d roll down the street, walk in the front door and settle in the kitchen for a dark cup of coffee. After that, we’d tackle a project, tinker with something in the garage, or just stay in the kitchen and talk about the sorts of things men talk about.
I cherished those days.
Decades later, I still do. The routine isn’t all that different. In fact, it’s clear the trait has been handed to the next generation. My young son often tells me that he, too, can’t wait for Saturday.
But why? What is it about that single day of the week that makes so many of us happier?
As always, science thinks it has an answer. And this answer falls squarely in Manward Press territory. It once again proves the immense power and importance of our Triad.
Freedom = Happiness
A study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology proved that the vast majority of folks are happier, feel better and have more energy from Friday evening to Sunday morning.
The researchers dubbed it the “weekend effect.”
If you understand our Triad, you may already understand this crazy mind game. The reason we cherish our weekends is all about Liberty and Connections – two of the three arms of the Triad.
“Workers, even those with interesting, high-status jobs, really are happier on the weekend,” said Richard Ryan, the study’s author and a University of Rochester professor. “Our findings highlight just how important free time is to an individual’s well-being.
“Far from frivolous, the relatively unfettered time on weekends provides critical opportunities for bonding with others, exploring interests and relaxing – basic psychological needs that people should be careful not to crowd out with overwork.”
And while the study didn’t touch too much on the area of Know-How, our own anecdotal research shows that it, too, plays a large role in the phenomenon. After all, my Saturday mornings with my father and grandfather were all about learning. Those mornings I learned to fix or build just about anything – which undoubtedly led to increased happiness and fulfillment.
A Clear Connection
What’s most interesting about Ryan’s study is how he did it.
In the most crucial part of the work, he simply asked the study’s participants how they felt. He did it three times a day every day of the week, having folks note whether they felt controlled or autonomous.
Of course, folks felt much freer on the weekends.
The study also asked if participants felt close to those around them. And, once again, they had the strongest connections on Saturday and Sunday.
Combine those ideas with survey results that clearly showed folks felt more joy and pleasure – and less depression and anxiety – on weekends, and the conclusion is obvious.
We’re happier on weekends.
But it has nothing to do with the day of the week. Instead, it’s all about the ideas in our Triad.
Having the Liberty to do what we want… having the Know-How to accomplish what we want… and having Connections to the folks we love leads us to a happier and more fulfilled life.
Cherish your weekends. And if you really want to be happy, turn every day into a Saturday.