Last Friday saw millions of people all over the world celebrate the International Day of Happiness. What exactly makes us happy however? Is it money, popularity, having a top job or being surrounded by a great network of people? According to various studies, below are the top three things that make us happy.
Family and relationships
It has been found time and time again that the happiest people are those who regularly spend time with family, friends and partners. This no doubt comes down to the fact that intimacy with others fulfils two basic human needs - the need for social connections and the need for personal growth.
If you feel like your happiness rating could do with going up a notch or two, try to accept social invitations wherever you can or even better, initiate these gatherings yourself. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you have thousands of Facebook friends that you should be happy either. Face-to-face meetings make us much happier than online networking because hugging and other forms of physical touch release those all-important endorphins.
Studies have revealed that we are happiest when engaged in activities that make us forget ourselves and lose track of time. This can be anything from downloading music, doing the gardening, playing with the kids or a pet, doing exercised or even being completely focused on an activity at work.
Research has found that people who don’t compare themselves to others are much happier than those who do. Those who accepted that their house might not be as big as the one down the road or that they don’t earn as much money as their best friend have been found to be much more content in life than those who are constantly wishing for bigger and better things.
What doesn’t make us happy?
It might come as a surprise to many but the things that have been found to have no effect on our happiness include money, material possessions, intelligence, education, age, gender or attractiveness.
What are the things in your life that make you the happiest? Please feel free to share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page. If mental health problems are affecting your happiness, contact life works for help.