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-Top Ten Conditions for Happiness 2003-10-11

Posted by clype in Health, Humanities, Intolerance, Scotland, Statistics.

… Have happy parents, get married, get pals, be nice, find God… and move to the countryside near Edinburgh.

People living in the countryside near Edinburgh are the happiest in Britain, according to a survey.

And the findings which say people in rural areas feel safer and have a greater sense of community came as another study revealed the “10 secrets of happiness”.

The bad news is that the main factor is something we have no control over it’s in our genes. You are more likely to be born happy if your parents are.

The survey for New Scientist magazine says getting married is the second most important factor, with studies from 42 countries consistently finding married people are happier than those who are single.

Third in the happiness league is a wide circle of friends, followed by doing a good turn for someone and “finding God” or some other faith.

Scientists say believing in “a god” or “the afterlife” can give people purpose and reduce the feeling of being alone.

Sixth in the happiness poll is to want less. New Scientist said:

‘Wise men down the ages have said that curbing your desires is a surer route to happiness than a fat bank balance’.’

Good looks are the seventh most important factor when it coms to happiness; scientists say the most attractive faces are highly symmetrical and there is evidence from animal research that symmetry reflects good genes and a healthy immune system.

Growing old gracefully is the eighth factor. Psychologists reckon old people are happy because they may expect life to be hard and have learned to deal with it.

Ninth in the happiness chart is earning more money but only up to a point. The Magazine said:

‘It seems absolute income doesn’t make much difference once you have enough to meet your basic needs. Instead, the key seems to be whether you have more than your friends, neighbours and colleagues’.

Intelligence is the least important factor, according to the study. The experts believe brighter people could have higher expectations and so be dissatisfied with anything less than the highest achievements.

Meanwhile, in the Europe-wide city and rural living study, it emerged that four of the top five places to live in the UK were in the countryside. The area around Edinburgh was followed by the rural surroundings of Belfast, Bristol and Manchester.

  1. Your parents were and are happy;
  2. You are happily married;
  3. You have a wide circle of friends;
  4. You do ‘good turns’;
  5. You believe in an ‘afterlife’;
  6. You don’t ask for much;
  7. You are good looking;
  8. You are old;
  9. You earn more than your friends and neighbours;
  10. You are intelligent.



1. devine » Xscaped - 2006-07-09

[…] I do think, though, that shopping is not the way to happiness. Wanting LESS stuff is the way to be happy, and so is living in the countryside. I suppose that we will soon have to think carefully about where we ought to bring up Olivia. […]

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