Long-term happiness is not much affected by normal alcohol intake, new research finds.
So, giving up won’t necessarily make you miserable.
However, alcohol does make people feel happier in the short-term.
All those little bouts of happiness, though, don’t add up to a measurable difference in the long-term.
The only exception to this situation, the researchers found, was people with an alcohol problem, who became less satisfied with life over time.
The conclusions come from a study which looked at people’s happiness over more than a decade and linked it to their alcohol intake.
A second study had drinkers track their happiness levels moment-by-moment on their iPhones.
Both studies included tens of thousands of individuals.
The study’s authors conclude:
“…while iPhone users are happier at the moment of drinking, there are only small overspills to other moments, and among the wider population, changing drinking levels across several years are not associated with changing life satisfaction.”
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
The study was published in the journal Social Science & Medicine (Geiger & MacKerron et al., 2016).