More Useful Stuff
The Happiness Quiz:
1. Which two things make men feel the happiest?
A – Having sex
B – Finding God
C – Time with the kids
D – Drinking alcohol
2. Where should you go on
a Friday night if you want
to wake up 67% happier?
A – A nightclub
B – To the pub
C – The movies
4. It’s your round: which of these drinks provides the biggest mood lift?
A – Red wine
B – Cider
C – Beer
5. What’s the best activity
you can do daily to enjoy
a happier retirement?
A – Exercise
B – Meditation
C – Puzzles
6. Money can’t buy happiness.
True or false?
7. What can you do for just
20 minutes to feel better
for 12 hours?
A – Sleep
B – Masturbate
C – Exercise
8. What should you do every day for 30 days to feel more positive?
A – Buy new music
B – Eat yoghurt
C – Eat raw eggs
D – Read the newspaper
9. Looking at old photos will make you…
A – 11% happier
B – 15% sadder
C – Feel the same
10. Your girlfriend is in a bad mood. How should you
cheer her up?
A – Buy her a bunch of flowers
B – Amuse her with your best joke
C – Give her a sweaty post-gym hug
11. Happier folk are more likely to…
A – Watch TV
B – Read books
12. True or false?
The stress of exercising when you don’t want to cancels out all the anxiety-crushing benefits.
14. Does having sex every day make
Yes or No
15. You need a quick mood fixer. How can you put your phone
to best use?
A – Check Facebook
B – Phone a friend
C – Throw it at a wall
16. Where should you meet
your spouse for the best chance of a long and happy marriage?
A – At work
B – Online
C – In a club
D – At the beach
17. You’ve scored that fabled lottery win! After diving into a pool of money like Scrooge McDuck, what should you do?
A – Buy your dream car
B – Buy your dream home
C – Go on your dream holiday
18. Should you travel solo or take someone with you?
19. It’s lunchtime…
Where should you sit to tuck into your sandwich?
20. What would make
you feel happier?
A – Building a hospital wing and naming it after yourself
B – Making an anonymous donation to charity
21. Forget eggs – if you want
to start your day off in the right way, which shower gel should you use?
A – Your girlfriend’s, the one that smells of rose and lavender
B – A fruity mango-scented shower smoothie
C – A refreshing mint and lemon concoction
22. What makes you feel more cheerful…
Having a cup of tea or patting a dog?
23. If you want to get up on the right side of the bed every morning, what should you do?
A – Sleep with earplugs
B – Buy silk sheets
C – Wear pink pyjamas
How Bright Are You?
Add up your score, then use these tips to down a quick shot of cheer.
1. What two things make
men feel best?
Answers A & D / Girls and drink are the clear winners here, according to Canterbury University in New Zealand. Having kids and finding God ranked lower.
2.How should I spend
my Friday night?
A / Dancing to fast-paced music improves your mood to the tune of 67%, found Stockholm University.
3. Can a massage make
me feel happier?
C / It reduces your levels of the stress hormone cortisol by a quarter, found a study by Miami scientists.
4. What’s the top
B / Sniff the cider before you swig. The apple scent stimulates parts of your brain that relieve anxiety, says US neurologist Alan Hirsch.
5. What will make my future brighter?
Puzzles / As well as slowing mental decline, exercises that force you to think fast improve your energy and mood, say Harvard psychologists.
6. Is it impossible to buy happiness?
False / Money does buy happiness – but only up to around R850K. After that, you won’t get happier by being richer, found Princeton University.
7. What will pump up my
mood in 20 minutes?
C / A quick workout generates enough happy hormones to keep you flying high all day, according to the University of Vermont. All B will leave you with is an achey wrist.
8.How can I beat the blues
in a month?
B / A course of probiotics (like those in yoghurt) can boost your mood says the British Journal of Nutrition.
9. Will browsing old photos make me smile?
A / Looking at photos lifts your mood by 11%, says the Open University.
10. My girlfriend is upset.
What should I do?
C / A study in the journal Biology of Reproduction found women feel happier when smelling the sweat of men they’re attracted to. Maybe keep option A in reserve, though.
11. What’s the best way unwind after work?
B / Sociologists at the University of Maryland found the happiest men count reading as a main hobby; the unhappiest rate TV up tops.
12. Will skipping that 7am
run cheer me up?
False / Even “forced” workouts fire up your brain’s reward centre, found a study in The European Journal of Neuroscience.
13. Does what I eat dictate
how I feel?
C / Ever wonder why you never see an unhappy seal? Us neither, but dosing up on fish oil cuts anxiety by 20%, reports the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity. Low levels of omega-3 have been linked to mood disorders and poor focus.
14. Is more sex the key
A / Sex makes you happy – but only if your friends aren’t getting more of it. A study by the University of Colorado Boulder found how often you have sex doesn’t affect your mood as much as believing that you’re having more than others.
15. How can my phone make
me feel great?
A / Scrolling through your Facebook wall gives your self-esteem a big lift, reports Portsmouth University.
16. What will boost my
odds of a happy match?
B / Online couples have longer, happier marriages, according to a University of Chicago study.
18. Do I treat myself
or share the rewards?
Bring a friend / Spending money on others makes you happier, says the University of British Columbia.
17. Should I splash out on that dream holiday?
C / Analysis of Tweets by the University of Vermont found your language becomes more positive the further you are from home.
19. Where should I spend my lunchbreak?
In the park / Research by the University of Sussex found office workers who ate outdoors were happier and healthier than those who ate at their desks.
20.Is giving better
B / A study by the US National Institutes of Health found selfless acts increase levels of the pleasure hormone dopamine in your brain.
21. Do certain scents wash
Any of them / A study by the American Chemical Society found all of these fragrances reduce your levels of stress hormones.
22. What’s an instant way to
Pat the dog / Hot drinks and stroking a pet both make you feel good immediately, say researchers at Yale University. But dog owners just steal the edge – studies show they’re fitter as well as happier.
23. How can I wake up happier every day?
B / It might make you look like a Seventies lothario, but silk sheets will help you wake up in a good mood, say Yale University scientists. Soft textures increase your levels of oxytocin: the “love hormone”.
How did you score: miserable or merry?
1- 8 / AT THE LOW END
Yes, we know happiness isn’t really quantifiable – but there are scientific strategies to increase it. As well as using the tips here, try taking vitamin D: research conducted by Massachusetts University found this cuts your risk of depression by 31%.
9 – 16 / GOING STEADY
Even if you have a fair idea of what makes you tick, it’s worth examining your priorities now and then. Taking time to focus on your job? A government survey revealed getting married is 20 times more important to wellbeing than scoring a pay rise.
17 – 23 / RIDING HIGH
You’re fully versed in the science of smiles. But blue-sky thinking has its limits. US research shows the ideal ratio for positive-to-negative comments in business and relationships is 5:1. That’s five “great idea!”s for every sarcastic quip.