What Makes Us Happy?

It took more than 15 years of research into personal wellbeing and over 60,000 responses to a Wellbeing survey for researchers to discover what they believe is the secret to happiness.

And the answer it seems, may be simpler than you may think...

According to Deakin University, the secret to happiness boils down to just 3 things (in this order):

1.     Good personal relationships,

2.     Financial security; and

3.     A sense of purpose in life.

These three elements are referred to as the “Golden Triangle of Happiness”.  

When these elements are present in our lives it is suggested that we are likely to be “happier”, regardless of our age, income or health status.

What is interesting is that money is not necessarily the most important element of the Golden Triangle. Instead the research suggests that our close personal romantic and family, and personal relationships are the key to increasing happiness in our lives.

The research also found that those people on low incomes can have normal levels of happiness provided their personal relationships and purpose in life are strong. I.e. more money doesn’t necessarily bring more happiness.

Also surprising is that health and happiness are not necessarily related. It goes without saying that our overall satisfaction with our health generally falls as we age, however it also appears that our happiness tends to rise with age. Which just tells us that essentially, we adapt to our slow-onset health conditions and failings.

Interesting don’t you think? Would you agree with this research?

Are these three elements the key to your happiness? Or are there other things in life that you’d rate more important?

I’d love to know your thoughts.

For those interested the findings from the original research can be found here.