Americans are generally a pretty happy group.
People in the US are six times more likely to say they are happy than unhappy, according to a new poll by CivicScience.
Here are a few wise quotes about happiness from some big names.
Do their bon mots ring true?
“There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.” – Victor Hugo
People really do get happier as they get older.
In the survey, people over 65 were 14 times more likely to be happy than unhappy.
From the age of around 30, people report feeling progressively happier, on average.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ― Confucius
The survey even found evidence that it may be better to be out of work than to be in a job that you hate.
Although, obviously, neither situations is ideal.
“Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.” ― Charlotte Brontë
Married people consistently report being 20% happier than unmarried people.
There’s some evidence that parents are happier than non-parents.
“Money may not buy happiness, but I’d rather cry in a Jaguar than on a bus.” — Françoise Sagan
True up to a point.
And that point in the US is around $100,000 in earnings per year.
After that, more money seems to do little for happiness — indeed more may make you less happy.
If you’ve got enough money to be able to go to an upscale restaurant every now and then or to buy yourself the odd trinket, then perhaps you’ve got enough?
“Happy girls are the prettiest.” ― Audrey Hepburn
Sort of true, but not as true as you might imagine.
People who are more attractive do repeatedly report being slightly happier than their less bodily-advantaged peers.
But it may partly depend where those girls (or boys) live.
In the city where it’s more about looks, being attractive may make you happier.
In the countryside, though, the link is less clear-cut.
(Alternatively, if Audrey meant that looking happy increases your attractivity, then: DEFINITELY TRUE!)
“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha
You can’t argue with Buddha, can you?
“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’” ― Sylvia Plath
Plath not exactly known for her quotes about happiness.
Get out into nature, travel and explore.
All were linked to higher levels of happiness in the poll.
About the poll
The poll included data from 262,000 Americans.
They were asked about their lifestyles, demographics and many other characteristics.
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
Quotes image from Shutterstock