Test your happiness
Psychologists say it is possible to measure your happiness.
This test designed by psychologist Professor Ed Diener from the University of Illinois, takes just a minute to complete.
To find out how happy you are just look at the five statements below and decide whether you agree or disagree using a 1-7 scale.
Please be open and honest in your responding – remember your answers are totally private.
Once you have answered all five questions press submit and we will calculate your score. You will then be able to read Professor Diener’s analysis.
In most ways my life is ideal.
The conditions of my life are excellent.
I am satisfied with my life.
So far I have gotten the important things I want in life.
If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing.
What makes you makes you happy
To understand life satisfaction scores, it is helpful to understand some of the components that go into most people’s experience of happiness.
One of the most important influences on happiness is social relationships.
People who score high on life satisfaction tend to have close and supportive family and friends, whereas those who do not have close friends and family are more likely to be dissatisfied.
Of course the loss of a close friend or family member can cause dissatisfaction with life, and it may take quite a time to bounce back from the loss.
Another factor that influences the life satisfaction of most people is work or school, or performance in an important role such as homemaker or grandparent.
When the person enjoys his or her work, whether it is paid or unpaid work, and feels that it is meaningful and important, this contributes to life satisfaction.
When work is going poorly because of bad circumstances or a poor fit with the person’s strengths, this can lower life satisfaction.
When a person has important goals, and is failing to make adequate progress toward them, this too can lead to life dissatisfaction.
A third factor that influences the life satisfaction of most people is personal – satisfaction with the self, religious or spiritual life, learning and growth, and leisure.
Other sources of happiness
For many people these are sources of satisfaction. However, when these sources of personal worth are frustrated, they can be powerful sources of dissatisfaction.
Of course there are additional sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction – some that are common to most people such as health, and others that are unique to each individual.
Most people know the factors that lead to their satisfaction or dissatisfaction, although a person’s temperament – a general tendency to be happy or unhappy – can colour their responses.
There is no one key to life satisfaction, but rather a recipe that includes a number of ingredients.
With time and persistent work, people’s life satisfaction usually goes up.
People who have had a loss recover over time. People who have a dissatisfying relationship or work often make changes over time that will increase their satisfaction.
One key ingredient to happiness is social relationships, and another key ingredient is to have important goals that derive from one’s values, and to make progress toward those goals.
For many people it is important to feel a connection to something larger than oneself.
When a person tends to be chronically dissatisfied, they should look within themselves and ask whether they need to develop more positive attitudes to life and the world.
Copyright by Professor Ed Diener, University of Illinois