What makes almost everyone happy?

Using smartphones, Harvard happiness researchers surveyed 5000 people from 83 countries, ages 18-83, almost 250,000 times.

What was consistent?

We’re happy when we’re having sex, exercising, socializing, or when the mind is focused on the here and now.

We’re unhappy when we’re commuting or when our minds are wandering.

Via Engineering Happiness: A New Approach for Building a Joyful Life:

Using smart phones, Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert of Harvard University collected a large sample of experiences and associated happiness. They also measured “mind wandering.” Their database currently contains nearly a quarter million samples from about five thousand people from eighty-three different countries who range in age from eighteen to eighty-eight and who collectively represent every one of eighty-six major occupational categories. Their findings confirm what had been found previously: happiness is high during sex, exercise, or socializing, or while the mind is focused on the here and now, and low during commuting or while the mind is wandering.

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