The happiest person in the UK is a married Indian lady, who own her own home on a remote Scottish island. But if you're not her, there really is no need to worry.
According to a recent Office for National Statistics survey, people's well-being levels are influenced by their gender, culture, location and social standing.
The survey, which asked 160,000 people to rate their own well-being, showed that levels of contentment generally rise when we are in relationships, financially secure and untroubled by concerns about our immediate environment. No kidding, Kojak.
While there may be overall uncontrollable trends, which influence our feeling of well-being, no-one has to be subject to these arbitrary laws, if they choose to take their happiness into their own hands.
Individually, the people who are happiest achieve that state, not by what they own, have, or who they're with, but by what they think.
Life satisfaction is largely based on your own attitude - you can make your life much happier, simply by changing your thinking.
Three Keys To Happiness
Aside from cultural and financial factors, real happiness stems from attitude, gratitude and living your values.
A Positive Attitude: It stands to reason; if you think of your glass as half-full rather than half-empty, you're bound to be more content.
- Pick up on what you learn from mistakes, rather than focusing on what went wrong.
- Look for the good in every situation, no matter how seemingly dire or disastrous.
Develop Gratitude: Even if you have hardly anything, but are truly grateful for what you do have, you will be much happier than someone who has a lot but appreciates none of it.
- Count your blessings more often than your misfortunes
- Develop a deep gratitude for all the things you are lucky enough to have, from basic human rights, to food, shelter and family, to abilities and choices.
Living Your Values: If you live your life according to your values, with integrity and alignment, you increase your chances of feeling good more often.
- Live according to your surface values, which might be friendship, hard work, learning or fun.
- Live according to your deep-held core values, such as honesty, loyalty, freedom, connectedness and love.
If you struggle with any of the keys above, then remind yourself that holding these healthier attitudes that will make you happier. Practise them every chance you get.