This happiness study page is for you if you require facts and figures and official, scientific data.
But I must caution you. There are a myriad of happiness studies out there. By all means peruse them, but don't get so caught up studying the studies that you forget to BE happy. From what I'm reading, we're getting too hooked on analysis, and forgetting to BE. You can read a recipe a million times and still not have a pie. Action is required.
This page reveals what the men-in-white-coats are telling us about happiness and should satisfy the requirements of you "facts and figures" readers.
Not surprisingly, the results on this page are not too different from the results of my personal happiness study which may satisfy those of you who are thinking, "well who is SHE to tell me how to be happy?". My happiness study contains less figures, more facts; and is less "men-in-white-coats" and more "happiest-person-I-know".
So if you're curious as to how you can become The Happiest Person You Know, click here to have a look at my personal study then integrate my advice into your life and voila! Happy You!
Do inform yourself of the official position on happiness by reading below.
We all know money can't buy happiness, don't we?
A study by University of British Colombia and Harvard Business School went one step further in proving this theory when the scientists gave participants either a $5 note or a $20 note and asked them to spend it by 5.00 pm that day.
Half the volunteers were instructed to spend the cash on themselves, with the other half spending it on someone else.
At the end of the day the participants who spent the money on others reported feeling significantly happier than those who spent the money on themselves.
Emory University scientists found in their happiness study that lottery winners don't derive nearly as much pleasure from their money as those who earn it by working.
The University of Colorado conducted a national survey of more than 12,000 Americans which concluded that more happiness and satisfaction was gained when participants spent their money on life experiences, rather than material possessions. Hellooooo? Rather than waste their time and money on these grand surveys, all these unis had to do was visit happiness from within to reach the same conclusions!
Researchers at the University of California found that doing good deeds for others dramatically lifted the spirits of participants, with the regularity of said good deeds relevant to their level of happiness. Those participants who performed five random good deeds per day were significantly happier than those performing five good deeds over the course of a week.
The same researchers asked some participants to write down five things for which they were grateful per week. These participants also reported significantly higher levels of happiness than those who did not participate in this exercise.
In a recent study conducted over twenty years by Harvard Medical School and the University of California, involving 4,700 people, researchers found happiness to be contagious. When one person in a social network becomes happy, the chances of a friend, sibling, spouse or next door neighbour becoming happy increases 15%. Happiness was even shown to continue to spread through three degrees of separation.
Happy people are not only healthier, they can also expect to live a further 7 - 10 years than their gloomy friends, so says a study published in The Journal of Happiness Studies (although they may not have used the word gloomy).
At London's University College, scientists found that blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol were approximately a third lower in happy people, than in their fellow gloomsters. A number of serious conditions including obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and heart disease have been linked to chronically elevated cortisol levels. Ouch! Cortisol begone! Get happy and healthy!
For some great tips on how to be happy, see my personal