Thursday, 3 November 2011

The little things in life

Amidst all the doom and gloom in the papers today, the nation’s happiness has been a keen theme.
We often see studies which claim to prove for example, that happy people tend to live longer. Researchers at University College London asked 3,800 older people to rate how happy they felt several times a day. Those who rated themselves happiest were a third less likely to die over the next five years.

Yesterday, The Office for National Statistics published plans to measure how content us Brits are. National Statistician Jill Matheson who has been in charge of the £2m a year wellbeing project says,

‘It is essential that the set of measures of well-being is relevant and well-based in what matters to people, both as individuals and for the UK as a whole.’

One truly inspired question will be ‘overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?’ Let’s hope nobody gets a parking fine on the day of the survey, or results might be a little…out.

Come what may, we will have the thrilling results by August. I predict a set of stats which will reveal non-surprising and barely enlightening conclusions.

Did the leaders of the well-being project not see the latest survey by Three Barrels Brandy? The poll, which set out to find the top 50 things that make people happy, revealed that happiness is accessible to us all – through the simplest day-to-day occurrences. Finding a £10 note in an old pair of jeans emerged as one of life's greatest good mood triggers.

Who needs a set of ‘well-being indicators’? We know what makes us happy – just give us all a tenner and be done with it.

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