Very Happy People.
The essential ingredients.
1. America’s happiest people have a few traits in common: They value community and close personal relationships. They tend to believe in God. And they generally are older, often in their retirement years. Those are conclusions from the latest Wall Street Journal-NORC poll, which found that a small group of Americans—12%—describe themselves as not just happy, but “very happy.” Americans aren’t a particularly happy bunch. The 12% was the smallest share of “very happy” people ever recorded in NORC’s General Social Survey, dating to 1972. Among all 1,019 adults in the survey, large majorities said they felt pessimistic about the economy and prospects for the next generation. Some 30% rated themselves at the lowest level of happiness, saying they were “not too happy.” A majority, some 56%, said they were “pretty happy.” All this makes the slice of “very happy” people stand out. What do they know that the rest of Americans don’t? Overwhelmingly, the very happy value strong relationships. Some 67% say marriage is very important to them, regardless of their own marital status, compared with 43% of respondents overall. They tend to say belief in God is important. Two-thirds describe themselves as very or moderately religious, compared with less than half of adults overall. Community involvement rates as more important among the very happy than among those who report lower levels of happiness. And while many of the very happy are satisfied with their personal finances, as a group they don’t attach high importance to money. (Source: wsj.com)
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