The Science of Happiness [Infographic]

Is there a science to happiness? Well according to this infographic, there is!

Check out the patterns, backed up by science, that are linked to happy people. Apparently, married people are 10% happier than unmarried people (I’m surprised!), healthy people are 20% happier than average (this, I’m NOT surprised :) ), Mexico kids are the happiest in the world, and sleep-deprived people tend to have a penchant for remembering negative ideas:

Science of Happiness [Infographic]

Click image for larger version (Infographic by: Webpage FX)

While useful facts, remember that at the end of the day, happiness is a state of mind. Some people pursue happiness as a goal, when happiness is really a result of being at peace with who you are and living in alignment with your highest values and goals. The happy people reported in this infographic seems like people who are doing just that, which is why they are happy.

Meaning, you’re not going to automatically be happy just because you (a) get married, (b) migrate to Mexico, (c) discover your life purpose, or (d) eat bananas (the stats as reported in the infographic). Rather, you’re going to be unreservedly happy because you learn to find positivity in everything you do and you live in line with your values and goals, and because of this internal alignment in you, you will (a) find someone who is aligned with your values and whom you want to marry, (b) be happy no matter where you live, (c) discover your highest purpose in life, and (d) eat bananas because it makes you healthy.

If you want to achieve lasting happiness, work from the root of your emotions — your mind — while cultivating the positive habits reported in the infographic. Here are my two guides to achieve lasting happiness:

And if you’re in a rush, here are the manifesto versions:

  • Madalina Sraier

    The bananas-part cracked me up, haha. But it’s true, you won’t get happy just because you’re eating bananas or because you move to Iceland. Also, I’m not surprised that consumerism leads to unhappiness: owning more and more material goods can only bring you unhappiness in the long run, because they can’t fill in the emptiness you may experience on certain levels (be it professional, emotional, etc.). I’ve been trying to reduce the number of things I buy to a minimum (only what I really need) so that I may live freely and unburdened by the idea of buying more and having more – just like that quote from Fight Club: “The things you own end up owning you.”

  • http://avene.org/ Glenn Thomas

    Good to see Australia in the top 5 happiest countries :)

  • http://ponderthepreposterous.wordpress.com/ Kate Britt

    What’s cool is that we can “manipulate” ourselves into being happy, if we know about and use the tools and information we have available to us. Thanks, Celestine, for this summary of some of the tools!

    Here’s another thing to know about, for us old-farts in the crowd. ;) They say there is more depression in middle-aged and older women. Well now I know why! I found out that approximately 6-7% of our dopamine receptors are lost with each decade of age. If I do the math, I find that now, in my 60s, I have 30-35% less dopamine than I had in my 20s! So I wrote a blog post about it if you’re interested… http://ponderthepreposterous.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/174502876/

    Hey, long time since we chatted, so I just want to say congrats on your upcoming marriage! Here comes another 10% happy boost for you! (As if you need it… I think you’re already at 200% or more.)

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Hey Kate, it’s so great to hear from you! Thanks for the tidbit on women losing dopamine receptors with each decade of age; I didn’t know that. I suppose it may also be an inside out thing; that the people lost the dopamine receptors because they became less happy. (I think there’s a similar debate about metabolism and age; most people say that metabolism decreases with age, but there’s an entire different camp that argues that people’s metabolism reduces because they exercise less as they grow older, and not because the metabolism decreases due to age.) Either way, it’s good knowledge to know as you mentioned — by knowing this information, we can use it to our advantage to live our best life.

      Thank you so much for your well wishes! :) And yes, it’s been a while since we last connected! I really love your sharing during the first public round of 30DLBL and I actually use you in a couple of the examples in the premium 30DLBL program. I’m considering having a new challenge soon (perhaps an affirmation challenge?) and would totally love to have you back in if that happens!

      • http://ponderthepreposterous.wordpress.com/ Kate Britt

        Nice to hear back from you, Celestine! I will watch for info about your new challenge via your FB page, where I see your posts. For sure I’ll think about doing it if the topic draws me. But I’ve pulled away from my computer time SO much since 30DLBL and since retiring. Don’t know if you noticed on my blog site that I have a category for 30DLBL, where all my “homework” is still posted. I’m so complemented that you’re using parts of my work as examples! I’m curious about which parts??

        • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

          Hey Kate!! :D There’s definitely least two — the one where the participants worked on discovering the values, where you created your beautiful and lovely values board, and another one with the inspirational room where you posted pictures of your lovely room. Where used, they’ve definitely been credited of course. I particularly love showing off your values board because it’s so beautiful and shows a well-structured thought process in identifying your values! (If you remember, it’s the board where you displayed your values with a star.)

          Facebook has been quite naughty as many business’ posts no longer appear as priority on people’s news feed; basically they want businesses/blogs to pay to get the content displayed before others which is a non-option for me since I don’t earn revenue for majority of the stuff I put on PE. Do you usually catch on to the postings on my FB? My guess is that most people always only see a small fraction of my total FB postings.

          Twitter is definitely more reliable, if you don’t follow too many people that clutter up your feed. The best way is always to sign up for the free PE newsletter where 100% of the mailings will be delivered to one’s mailbox as and when they are posted.

          • http://ponderthepreposterous.wordpress.com/ Kate Britt

            Thanks for leading me to review my values. Always inspiring to follow one’s own soul-guidance. Your workshop definitely helps people access their soul’s best and deepest desires and needs! You’re welcome to link to my 30DLBL blog category or posts anytime you want. Again, very complemented that you found my work worth of being an example!
            Yes, I’ve read that about FB from several businesses I follow. Sux, right? As a reader, I’ve noticed that I see more posts from places with which I interact (likes, comments, shares), so there must be some kind of algorithm. Yes, twitter can overwhelm with too many follows, but I make good use of Tweetdeck’s columns to sort and focus on people I want to catch more often. This a.m. I saw your tweet about next-course ideas and the link led me back to FB so I commented.

  • JadePenguin

    I think the top 5 happiest countries correlates with income equality (not 100% sure about Australia). Wage gaps tend to increase unhappiness. And as it says later – helping those in need makes you more happy :)

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      On this note, I’ve to say I’m surprised that Netherlands appears as one of the top 5 countries for happiness. I think the Dutch are sweethearts and extremely good-natured, plus I made many good friends when I was in Holland. However, with regards to the country’s culture, I found that complaining quite commonplace (usually of the weather, transportation, and daily trivialities). I think they are definitely happy people; I just thought that other countries such as Spain and South Africa would rank higher because I got generally happier societal vibes while I was there!

      • JadePenguin

        Maybe once they’re done ranting they feel happier? Especially if other people agree :) But I haven’t been to any of the three so cannot compare!

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