While receiving a significant pay increase (double!) is probably one of the most happiness-enducing events for any person, a new study that was done by the London School of Economics has found that there two things that far surpass this.
According to the study, finding love and having good mental health have the biggest impact on a person’s overall happiness and are more significant than economic factors, including a doubling of one’s salary.
For the study, researchers analysed numerous surveys done globally of over 200 000 people about factors that impacted their wellbeing.
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It was found that on a scale of 0-10, a person’s happiness on average is increased by 0,2 points. This investigation found that while overall happiness wasn’t largely impacted by income, unemployment reduced a person’s happiness by an average of 0,7 points, and suffering from anxiety or depression – which were found to be more common than unemployment – reduced happiness by the same amount.
It was also found that having an intimate partner increased a person’s happiness by an average of 0,6 points, about 0,4 more points than receiving a pay increase, and losing a partner either due to death or a break-up or divorce reduced happiness by 0,6 points.
“The evidence shows that the things that matter most for our happiness and for our misery are our social relationships and our mental and physical health. This demands a new role for the state – not ‘wealth creation’ but ‘wellbeing creation’,” said co-author of the report, Richard Layard.
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“People need to be needed, and to be in meaningful relationships. Happiness is hugely affected by the ethos of a society, which affects everyone in it,” the study said.
“For example, happiness is higher in societies where people trust each other. If those who trust others rises from 0% to 100%, happiness rises by one whole point. Freedom is also a crucial determinant of happiness. So no one who favours happiness should favour a totalitarian state,” the authors went on to say.
The study concluded by suggesting that governments should consider a different approach when speaking to their voters and consider the factors that largely affect happiness.
Source: The Telegraph