The 'how happy are you' quiz
“Research has found that happiness is a set of habits,” reveals Professor Karen Pine, one of the top psychologists behind Do Something Different, an organisation that offers online programmes to help people live more fulfilling lives.
“When asked, most people say that they would rather have more happiness than more wealth. And yet so few of us actually stop and ask ourselves what we’re going to do for our happiness today? Our courses are about giving you those happy habits.”
Try Professor Pine’s quiz below:
Rate your answers from 0 (“never”) to 10 (“a lot”)
1. How often do you go out of your way to help or be kind to others?
Being compassionate not only impacts the recipients of kindness, it also has positive effect on you. There is a bit of science involved, doing good for others triggers the mesolimbic system—that's the part of your brain that sends out feelings of reward, this is known as a 'helpers high'.
2. How often do you put effort into the relationships that matter most to you?
Relationships aren't confined to love interests and partners, but extend to friends and family.
If our friends are happy then we're likely to be happy too. In fact, a Harvard Medical School study found that happiness spreads through social groups up to three degrees of separation, so if you create a happy environment among your loved ones, that happiness will spread.
3. How often do you take the time to notice the good things in your life?
“It’s been presumed that when good things happen, people naturally feel joy for it,” says Fred Bryant, a social psychologist at Loyola University Chicago. However, this is not the case as it's all too easy to dwell on negative. Taking time to savour the good things in life can lead to you feeling happier and more fulfilled and it can reduce stress and anxiety.
4. How often do you spend at least 30 minutes a day being active?
We all know the physical benefits of staying active—reducing the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity—but being active also has positive mental benefits. Exercise releases chemicals that boost endorphins, reduce pain perception and suppress hormones that lead to feelings of stress and anxiety.
5. How often do you do things that give you a sense of purpose?
Sense of purpose goes beyond the day-to-day of getting out of bed to go to work. Think about your gifts, your passions and your values. All of these add up to purpose, giving you a great sense of well-being.
41–50 Congratulations, you’re at the highest level of the scale!
Can you share your joyful spirit and spread happiness to more people?
31–40 You do lots of things that happiness expert recommend
Honing your habits will help you get even more out of life.
21–30 You have quite a few happy habits
Try to build more into your everyday life for more happiness.
11–20 You’re not doing many of the things that scientists know tend to make people happy
Just a few new habits could increase your happiness substantially.
0–10 Be kinder to yourself and try to notice the sunshine behind the clouds