-- Do you like yourself? Happy people tend to agree with statements such as “I am fun to be with.” They believe they are easy to get along with and feel good about themselves. They have high self-esteem. Happy people like themselves.
-- Do you feel you have some personal control in your life? Studies show that people deprived of control have lower morale. Consider people trapped in poverty, people in repressive regimes, people held prisoner, people in poor health.
-- Are you an optimist or a pessimist? People who come at life expecting good outcomes and success tend to be happier than people who are pessimistic. Research supports numerous benefits derived from an optimistic approach to life.
-- Are you more introverted or extraverted? Extraverts tend toward more happiness than introverts. The authors speculated that it may be due to extraverts having more social contacts and relationships. In general the positive benefits of relationships outweigh any negatives.
-- Are you religious or spiritual? People who are religious or spiritual tend to be happier. One Gallup poll found “the highly spiritual were twice as likely to say they were ‘very happy’.”
Happy people: good self-esteem, a sense of personal control, optimistic, extraverted, religious or spiritual.
Myers, D. G., & Diener, E. (1995). Who is happy? Psychological Science, 6 (1), 10-19.
Image of Mount Edgecumbe. © John Ballard, 2013. All rights reserved.