Knowing whether or not you’re happy would seem obvious, but that’s not always the case.
For one, experiences that may make us feel absolutely horrible in the moment may actually end up being some of the most positive experiences of our lives. In fact, studies have shown that if you ask someone who was stood up at the altar on their wedding day, they will say it was the worst day of their life… if you ask them on the day it happens. Follow up with those people a year later and most will say it ended up being one of the best days of their lives (“thank God I didn’t marry that jerk”) (1).
So how do we measure happiness?
Psychologists currently use two different self-reported happiness tests that measure your happiness in the moment and over time.
The first is the satisfaction with Life Scale which measures… drum roll... overall life satisfaction. You can take the survey here.
The second is called PANAS (Positive Affect Negative Affect Schedule), and measures how your feeling at this moment. You can take the survey here.
Combine the scores of these two surveys and you’ll get your general level of happiness.
If you answered the surveys you probably recognize that your scores on both surveys will be very different depending on the day.
We recommend that you take the surveys a few times over the course of a month to get a more average understanding of how happy you are. If that’s of interest we can send you weekly email reminders to take the survey. Just click this link here: [create Mailchimp email list that emails the people 4 times over the course of a month to give them the survey so they can create an average happiness level. Perhaps it goes into a google sheet that feeds into a graph giving them a line chart of their happiness over the course of the month?]
Now that you know your score, it’s time to understand some challenges to improving your happiness (and then we’ll teach you how to overcome those challenges).
(1) Gilbert, Daniel Todd. Stumbling on Happiness. New York: A.A. Knopf, 2006. Print.