Aneesa Mirza | Contributing Writer | Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Have Scientists Discovered The Secret To Happiness?

Have Scientists Discovered The Secret To Happiness?

The Debrief: The golden triangle of happiness - are these the only three things we need to be happy?

If there’s one thing that’s constant in everyone’s lives, it’s probably the long-drawn-out pursuit of happiness. A sad thought but more often than not, humans don’t really know what makes them happy. It’s a never-ending struggle: finding inner peace, being healthy and just being all round… happy. Well, just maybe someone’s discovered the secret. 

According to a survey done by Deakin University in conjunction with Australian Unity, in which over 60,000 individuals were asked to respond, our happiness boils down to three things: good personal relationships, financial security and a sense of life purpose. 

Someone to share your life with

Robert Cummins, a professor  at Deakin University, breaks it down further. ‘You only need one person to share your life and having that person is incredibly important.’ That one person will be someone you can ‘share thoughts, secrets, hopes, dreams and fears with.’

The study showed people who haven’t got anyone to share their life with in an intimate way are more vulnerable to the bad things that could happen to them. 

Offloading how you’re feeling and minor details about your day can make you feel happier knowing you have someone listening and supporting you. 

Money really can buy happiness 

The link between money and happiness is obvious – money has the power to rid us of a lot of stress. The research proved that ‘people can achieve normal levels of wellbeing even with low income, so long as they feel in control of how they spend it.’

But what’s more interesting is that the research found ‘if more money doesn’t really make us any happier,’ it’s because we don’t ‘have an off button built into us to stop us from continuously wanting to earn more and more money.’

Sense of purpose

The third and final corner of the triangle showed the need for purpose. Enjoying hobbies, having deep interests, or feeling a part of something – whether an activity or in a social group – the research showed a sense of belonging is integral to our happiness. 

The results of this study might seem really obvious, but the triangle of happiness hints in the right direction of what we can aim for to improve our wellbeing.

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Follow Aneesa on Twitter @mirza_aneesa 

Pic: Getty