Good mental health and love the key to happiness

Experts at the London School of Economics (LSE) have released a study showing that eliminating depression and anxiety would reduce misery by 20%.

The report called Origins of Happiness reports that on average people have become no happier in the last 50 years, despite average incomes more than doubling.  Finding love and enjoying good mental health are by far the most important keys to a happy life.  Both factors were found to be more significant contributors to an individual’s overall contentment than economic factors, including doubling one’s salary.

This is hot on the heels of another recent study which found that undertaking a creative activity increases our happiness and wellbeing the following day. By practicing a hobby daily, participants reported not only a feeling of general feeling of happiness and joy, but improvements in mental health, relationships and job satisfaction.

Not one type of creative activity produced feelings of greater wellbeing than another, so whether it be picking up an old instrument or getting artsy of an evening, any particular hobby may help in managing the winter blues over winter.  The research suggested that we also do not need to be a naturally creative personality, or that highly skilled, to benefit from practicing your creative activity.

So dust off the art books, find that old cross-stitching kit, or re-string that high school guitar and get stuck in again – you’ll feel better for it!