What are some factors that influence happiness? Most people think if they have a lot of money or possessions that those things will automatically make them happier. And while it’s true that money and things can make life easier, they don’t necessarily make life happier.
Happiness has been studied over the years. Researchers have found that life satisfaction usually increases with age– the older you get, the more likely you are to be happier. Why is this? Well, family and social relationships are key factors that correlate with happiness. Generally, married people report being happier than those who are single, divorced, or widowed. Those with “fulfilling marriages” are particularly happy. Satisfaction with marriage and family life is a strong predictor of happiness. Coupled with having a partner, a person who has several friends and a strong social support network is generally happier than a person with few/no friends and no social network. The more contact with friends and family, the happier people tend to be!
Some other factors that help increase happiness include graduating from college (being well-educated), securing meaningful and engaging employment (having a job you like), and being religious/spiritual (believing in something/someone bigger than yourself).
So what are some factors that don’t show a correlation with happiness, according to researchers? What about parenthood and physical attractiveness? You might think being a parent makes you happier than those who don’t have kids, but the research shows that people who don’t have children are generally happier than those who do! And most people think attractiveness automatically makes people happier, but a person’s objective physical attractiveness is only weakly correlated with their happiness.
If you want to be happier, some good advice is this: love yourself and love others. Those two things truly help! And do what you can to relieve stress and pain in your life. Perhaps a trip to the chiropractor is in order, to help you relax and feel better…