I read Time July 8/July 15, 2013 (Summer Double issue):
The Happiness of Pursuit
Americans are free to pursue Happiness, but there's no guarantee we'll achieve it. The secret is knowing how -- and where -- to look. (By Jeffrey Kluger)
In Part 3. Got Joy? The Time poll asked Americans what makes the happy. Some answers:
1) Then and Now:
79% in 2004 but 50% in 2013 considered themselves 'optimist' with 2%/2004 but 43%/2013 somewhere between; 15%/2004 but 4%/2013 admitted pessimist. Fewer people are doing things to help themselves 25%/2004--17%/2013 eating; 17%--10% shopping; 21%--14% having sex; 42%--34% helping others; 45%--38% praying or meditating; but 56% more spending on social media.
2) How happy are you?
41% as happy as expected, 28% happier than expected, 27% not as happy
35% happy working toward a goal, 59 happy achieving a goal
3) Social media:
76% believe social media profiles are happier, more attractive and more successful than they really are, 7% don't know/care, 17% No.
But 78% believe their own profile reflect what they really are! Only 38% feel better about their own life after spending time on a social media site. 60% don't feel better.
The Game of Happiness (by Katy Steinmetz) modelled like a snake and laddle game is worth playing. A few points on the way (with colour coded hints -- red for happy, blue for not) show what can be expected for certain statuses and activities.
For examples, in the red are "degrees don't make us happy but money does, higher education links to higher income... teenagers say getting good grades makes them happy"; "volunteers are more happy with their lives and less likely to be depressed -- happy people are likely to volunteer"; "50% of worshippers (regular praying/going to religious services) are happy"; "meditation, yoga, exercises make people happy and more mindful"; and "long married people tend to be happy". In the blue are "young people are stressed when they are unolugged, adolescents feel better when they have hobbies, play team sports or go out with friends"; "heavy TV viewing can make people neurotic or have low self-esteem"; "poor sleep can cause depression, put health and productivity at risks"; "too many choices can cause fatique and regret, and lead to debt"; "eating unhealthy foods can lead to depression, obesity, diabetes and other conditions"; and "commuting (travelling to/from work) is about the least enjoyed activity, experts suggest money is better spent to eliminate commuting rather than a big house far from work".
Note. In Australia, Money (or economy) issues receive most attention -- more than twice of other issues such as health, education, good leadership and immigration. Food is a great concern but most believe they get good nutrition with the diets they are having,
This is about Americans in US. There is no, known to me, similar type of surey for Thais in Thailand. Though we may be able to confer some American results to Thais, some differences may be worth doing a survey with Thai population. So how about it -- Thai polls and universities?
What do you think? Are we more like AUS (economy; higher education==>higher income==happy) or USA (higher income==>happier) or ...(our expats out there in other countries may be able to share their views)?