The General Social Survey is reported to be one of the best sources of US happiness data. Interestingly, the most recent survey shows the top three things that impact people’s happiness most are health, relationships and financial circumstances:
1) Good Health
The biggest personal factor in determining happiness is health. Healthy people are about 20 percent happier than average while unhealthy people are about 8.25 percent more unhappy.
Next comes marriage. Married individuals are about 10 percent happier than people who have never been married.
Personal income plays a smaller role. In general, however, people with higher incomes are happier, with the people in the highest income bracket about 3.5 percent happier than average.
That is not, however, the end of the happiness story… which is great news, especially for the unmarried amongst us.
Cosmic Guru Deepak Chopra Reveals Five Secrets for Happiness
In the above interview (4 mins onwards) Dr Deepak Chopra shares with us his well-founded secrets to happiness. I asked for his top three tips, but being such a generous guy, he gave us five.
They offer great insight into the things we can each focus on to improve our own experience of happiness (or lack of).
1) You Must Enjoy Your Job
“It must somehow resonate with your passion,” Deepak says. This is not surprising because we all spend so much time at work. What is somewhat surprising, however, is that only 20 per cent of people love their work which suggests there is room for improvement for most of us here. If you could do anything in the world for money, what would that be?
2) Best Friends
You must have at least two or three people you consider best friends that you interact with on a daily basis. “This true friendship is very important,” Deepak says. “There needs to be a sense that these best friends are holding your back and that you are holding theirs and that you are communicating with them on a daily basis.”
3) Exercise and Good Sleep Every Day
Seven days a week. “You must exercise every day, even if it’s just half an hour of walking,” Deepak says. Good sleep is also critical as poor sleep leads to stress, irritability and poor eating habits.
4) You Must Not Be Worried About Money
You have to have financial Well Being and live within your means. People who are financially secure have certain habits.
- They don’t get into debt
- They spend money on experiences rather than things
“When you buy some ‘thing’ you get bored with it after a while, but when you have an experience – like going on a vacation with someone you love or care about – you look forward to it, you enjoy the experience and you have good memories.”
Also, people who give money to help a cause, even if its just a little bit to a homeless person, feel better about themselves.
5) Stay Connected to Something Bigger Than You
Deepak says happy people are usually involved in a project or cause that is bigger than just themselves. “Always stay connected to your community’s well being,” he says.
In closing: “These are the five secrets, but they don’t solve the big questions around growing old, getting sick and the fact that we die.”
Watch the full interview (above) for the rest of the story from Deepak.