The Happiness Quiz
Chances are you only think you know what you want. Switch paths for lasting contentment.
With all there is to negotiate right now – politics, work, domestic harmony, a better mobile-data plan – you’d be forgiven for feeling a little low, down, or even down-low. You just have to know how to get back up. Take this quiz to find out what can make you even happier 1 Quick: Which would you say yes to first?
$10,000 Spending time outdoors A full night’s sleep A full night’s sleep on a bed of $10,000 Happiest answer: (Or if that’s your thing. Seems itchy.) Sleep predicts the highest levels of well-being, a report by Oxford Economics and the National Centre for Social Research found. In fact, moving from feeling rested “some of the time” to feeling rested “all of the time” may boost well-being more than multiplying your disposable income by five. Spending time outdoors inches up good feelings, but not nearly as much as sleep does.
2 On a typical day off, you tend to socialise for:
Less than four hours Four to six hours Seven hours or more Happiest answer: Get everyone together: working people who spent seven or more hours the previous day with friends or family had the highest happiness-to-stress ratios compared with those with less social time the day before, a Gallup poll found. Presumably these people didn’t talk politics with their family.
3 A very happy happy hour looks like:
Cheers (ideally, the Woody Harrelson era) Checking out the new vodka bar A bottle at my desk
Happiest answer: ( works, too, as long as you refrain from getting a skinful.) It’s not about where you go but whom you’re with – strengthening social bonds is essential to well-being (which you already knew, but an Oxford study offers proof). Harvard kills the buzz a bit: researchers found that drinking too much is a huge contributor to unhappiness, marital stress and divorce.
4 That hour seems even happier when you’re drinking:
Wine Beer Spirits (or booze, for people not involved in liquor marketing)
Happiest answer: and A BMJ Open study found spirits elicit more positive emotions than other types of alcohol, but are also linked to negative feelings. Avoid the ups and downs by having beer or wine.
5 What’s your preferred status?
Single Partnered up
Breaking free from an ugly relationship feels good, but you might not want to stay partner-free. Coupled-up types are happier than singles, according to a recent Canadian study.
6 How old are you?
Who wants to know? None of your business But really, who wants to know?
7 Okay, fine. Just give us your range:
16 to 34 35 to 64 65+
Not that there’s anything you can do about it, but the UK’S Office for National Statistics found that there were more happy people ages 65 to 84 than in other age groups. So do what you can to be happy now, and know that it only gets better.
8 How often do you lace up and go for a run?
Am I running from something? Like, an animal? Or what? Less than once a month Three to five times a week Every day
People who worked out had 43 per cent fewer poor-mentalhealth days than those who didn’t, the Lancet Psychiatry suggests. Not a runner? Doing any exercise three to five times a week (for 45 minutes) helped.
9 Rock climbing, making sushi, rock climbing while making sushi. What happens when you try a new skill?
If I suck at it, I cut bait I keep trying
Struggle isn’t an immediate mood lifter. But research suggests the short-term frustration of wrestling with a new skill is outweighed by the enduring mental boost you feel when you finally get the hang of what it is that you’re doing.
10 Your use of Facebook is:
Like breathing – couldn’t live without posting, liking and clicking Like pancakes for breakfast – cosy and somehow soul-stirring, but rare People still use Facebook?
Time on Facebook can tank satisfaction – one study saw that people who spent 20 minutes on it had worse moods than those who just clicked around the Internet for that long. If you can’t stay away, at least curb it when it’s stormy out: moods can be contagious on social media, and bad weather brings on more negative posts. See our story, page 84.
TOO MUCH TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA CAN EXPOSE CRACKS IN YOUR WELL-BEING.