Happy levels on the rise

Deborah Punshon
Deborah Punshon

You may not know it, but you are probably happier than this time last year.

According to a new survey by the Office of National Statistics, most people in the UK are a little bit happier and more satisfied compared to the results of 2012.

The findings are being used to help shape government policies which can improve the well-being of the nation.

But, tell me, if someone asked you right now to rate your happiness between one and 10 (10 being absolutely ecstatic), what would you say?

What factors would you consider when contemplating happiness?

If you’re anything like me, I’d wager that that number would jump up and down several times a day.

Here’s my scores for one day last week: Woken up by binmen at 6.45 a.m. on my only day off (1), bounced on by toddler daughter with an evil giggle (9), realise I’ve not done last night’s dishes (2), but do have items for cooked breakfast (7).

A few minutes doing mindless housework (5), window cleaner forgets to collect payment (7) and man in suit comes to to the door to value my house (5).

He spots spotless bathrooms (9), eyes stain on kitchen ceiling (4) and walks upstairs with shoes on (-1).

Lunch in the sun with the family (8) and liquid dinner with friends (8).

So my average that day - around 5, edging towards 6.

Of course these findings are based on regular day-to-day things, but aren’t they what affect people’s happiness?

And, if the point of the study is to shape legislation, I’d ask David Cameron for a compulsory ban on morning binmen and heavy sanctions for shoes on cream carpets.