A survey of 1000 Brits by last minute cottage holiday hub, Snaptrip found that 64 per cent of people who describe themselves as impulsive are “happy” or “very happy”, compared to just 52 per cent of those who say they are not impulsive.
It also asked people to reveal the most spontaneous thing they had ever done.
Among the revelations was a man who agreed to go on a stag do while buying milk in his pyjamas. He said: “I bumped into some friends on their way to the airport and just carried on with them. I got home three days later.”
Another says: “In 1998, two of my friends decided for a laugh that they would go and live in whichever country won the World Cup that year. No word of a lie, they now live in France.”
Another was bored one night so booked onto a month-long volunteering trip in Fiji: “I thought it looked interesting, but you had to apply to be selected so didn’t expect to actually get on the trip.”
Other examples included a female student who followed a man she’d just met to KFC, so that she could give him her number.
She said: “He asked for it and we went out twice, but then I met someone else.”
Another said she quit her job and enrolled on a beauty course after a bad meeting at work. She wrote: “I had a bad day at work so handed my notice in and enrolled at the college next door.”
The poll also found that a spontaneous streak has the biggest impact on people’s work lives, compared to relationships, family life and living situation.
Those who said they followed their instincts in the workplace are 50 per cent more likely to land a mid-level or senior position, as six out of ten impulsive people fill these roles compared to just four out of ten planners.
Marie Lethbridge, cognitive behavioural therapist, said: “Spontaneity allows us to be mindful and totally immersed in the activity we’re engaging in, which has been linked to an increase in mental wellbeing and happiness.
“Often we behave in a rigid, planned and fixed way because of anxieties and worries we have – planning a trip to the last detail, checking and rechecking information etc. By behaving in a spontaneous manner we can test out our negative predictions; often finding them to be inaccurate.
“Instead of worrying about the future or ruminating about the past, acting instinctively allows us to engage fully in what we’re doing at the time, and focus our whole attention on this.”
Matt Fox, CEO of Snaptrip, added: “We wanted to find out how one element of your personality could affect your overall happiness, and were really surprised to see that spontaneity can have such an impact across the board.
“Of course, there are times when planning and thinking things through is really important, but as people work longer hours and lead busier lives, it’s important that they have some freedom in their social lives. Whether they go for a skydive or book a last minute break, spontaneity clearly has its benefits!”
Take the spontaneity quiz here Snaptrip