Take our quiz to find out how happy you really are with your life
The importance of being happy
"Happiness” is one of the main goals we set for ourselves. And for good reason! Not only does having a sense of joy and purpose enrich us emotionally, it also has a huge impact on our physical health, our ability to be productive and even how long we’ll live.
Our happiness quiz looks at what experts agree are areas of your life that are strongly linked to your sense of joy; they include relationships, spirituality and resilience.
For each question, choose an answer that best reflects your current attitudes or thoughts.
What are the keys to happiness?
Research into the traits, attitudes and lifestyle choices most associated with emotional and psychological health. Scientists identify five key components to the “happiness” equation:
1. Resilience to life’s challenges.
2. A healthy, active social life.
3. The ability to prevent or manage depression.
4. Embracing some form of spirituality or higher purpose.
5. Skill at defusing everyday stressors.
While being in an ongoing relationship isn’t one of the five variables, experts have proven that successful couples tend to be happier overall, in large part because loving companionship greatly helps each partner succeed in the five areas above.
Romance and love: Part 1
Answer the following if you are in a relationship:
1a. If our relationship were an object, it would be:
a. A chili pepper—spicy, lively, intense.
b. A quilt—warm, comforting.
c. A railway—fast-moving trains by day; side by side, deep in sleep at night.
d. A video game—push the button, a new battle starts.
2a. My partner and I could happily be stranded on a deserted island for:
a. Years—we really do enjoy each other’s company that much.
b. Weeks—we do love each other’s company, but in a short time we’d crave the other parts of our lives.
c. Days—just long enough to have some laughs and have a few good talks.
d. Hours—any longer and we’d be at each other’s throats.
3a. We have our own secret touches and phrases, and we use them:
a. Every day, sometimes even in public.
b. Occasionally, and always in private.
c. Rarely—we did that stuff only at the beginning of our relationship.
d. Never—and never will.
4a. When I talk to good friends about my significant other, I am:
a. Enthusiastic, loving and supportive.
b. Kind, generous, occasionally teasing.
c. Rational and dispassionately descriptive.
d. Surprisingly critical and uncomplimentary.
5a. If I find myself attracted to another person, I would likely:
a. Shut it right down—my current relationship is the one!
b. Not take action, other than perhaps a brief fantasy about what might have occurred.
c. Flirt. It’s harmless, isn’t it?
d. Secretly pursue the relationship, wherever it goes.
Answer these questions of you are not in a relationship:
1b. Love is:
a. A beautiful, natural, enriching part of life.
b. An oversimplified notion, but something to strive for.
c. A fairy tale concept that, on rare occasion, can happen.
d. A cruel hoax.
2b. If I need someone to talk with:
a. I have plenty of friends or family members I can call in an instant.
b. I have a few friends in whom I can confide if I feel I really need it.
c. I think [fill in the blank] might be open to it, if I asked...
d. Open up to someone? It’s just not me.
3b. Past relationships that failed have taught me that:
a. I always emerge wiser and better-prepared for the next one.
b. Life is an unpredictable journey that takes you into all kinds of interesting situations.
c. I should date less, trust less and pre-screen more.
d. Most guys are creeps, and those who aren’t are already taken.
4b. My social life is:
a. Absolutely great! I love my friends, and I love my time off.
b. Mostly active and interesting, though somewhat predictable.
c. Slow. I get out some, but more often than not, the TV is on.
d. Blank. My couch is my best friend.
5b. If I’m home alone on a Saturday evening, I’ll be:
a. Thrilled at the prospect of relaxing and doing exactly what I want.
b. Fine with it. Just another ordinary evening.
c. Stir-crazy somewhere around 10 p.m.
d. Completely, thoroughly bummed out and frustrated with myself.
6. I feel that I have within me:
a. The power to really improve the world.
b. A general desire to do good things for those around me.
c. A good moral compass, but no great need to touch the world.
d. Zero desire to affect the world. Come on, it’s six billion people!
7. I would rate my spiritual life as:
a. Thoroughly fulfilling. I have strong spiritual beliefs that benefit me every day.
b. Passive but good. I have my beliefs, but they don’t play into my day-to-day life.
c. Wanting. I want more purpose to my life; I want to believe in something bigger.
d. Absent. I don’t believe in that stuff; I trust my brain to guide me.
8. I consider my work to be:
a. A wonderful gift that lets me do what I love every day.
b. A reasonable and fair arrangement that, most days, is enjoyable.
c. A duty I need to fulfill in order to enjoy the other parts of my life.
d. A form of torture I endure for the money.
9. The last time I had a pleasant, non-work conversation of more than 10 minutes was:
a. Today or yesterday.
b. Three to seven days ago.
c. Last week.
d. More than two weeks ago.
10. In a typical day, I laugh:
a. All the time. I easily find the light side of things, even in dark times.
b. Once every few hours. Life is busy, but I can lighten up easily enough.
c. Rarely. It takes something really funny to crack my demeanour.
d. Pretty much never. The way things are, what’s to laugh at?
11. I typically feel:
a. Well rested, happy and ready to get going.
b. I have a lot to do today. Take a deep breath, and let’s go!
c. I wish it were Saturday. Please let it be Saturday. Damn.
d. I’d do anything not to have to get up and go through another typical day.
12. When I go to sleep at night, I feel:
a. Proud and satisfied with what I did today.
b. Grateful that the work and activities are done for the day.
c. Drained and spent—emotionally, physically, spiritually.
d. Angry at the world, angry at myself.
13. If I took a poll among my friends or co-workers, they would rate my attitude as:
a. Happy, engaged, optimistic.
b. Stable, even-keeled, in control.
c. Worried, frustrated, pessimistic.
d. Angry, defeated, overwhelmed.
14. When something really wonderful happens, I think:
a. I absolutely deserve this, and there’s more to come.
b. I’ll enjoy it now, knowing that it might not happen again.
c. It only took, what, how many years?
d. From here, it’s straight downhill.
15. If a new job didn’t work out well, I would think:
a. Their loss! I’m great at what I do and someone else will benefit.
b. I’m disappointed, but I’m sure I’ll find something else.
c. This is really bad. How will I ever find another job?
d. I’m a failure.
16. If a stranger did something really rude to me, I would:
a. Brush it off; life’s too short to let strangers affect you.
b. Get a little perturbed, but an hour later I’d have moved on.
c. Get very perturbed, and still be talking about it tonight.
d. Tear into him or her; no one is rude to me and gets away with it!
17. If I do something embarrassing in public, I:
a. Laugh it off, maybe even make a joke. We all do silly things at times.
b. Get a little embarrassed, but recover quickly enough and move on.
c. Turn five shades of red, and quickly try to escape the scene.
d. End up in tears, thinking how foolish I am.
18. When I’m feeling really stressed, I:
a. Turn to prayer, meditation, music or relaxation to calm me.
b. Talk it out and learn to cope with it.
c. Get upset and need help to calm down.
d. Get angry and hurtful, to myself and to others.
19. I get angry:
a. Almost never. Life’s too short to waste on such negative energy.
b. Maybe once a week. It takes a serious provocation to get me started.
c. Often. There’s a lot of stupidity out there.
d. Regularly. I fall into anger naturally; it’s part of who I am.
20. I’m suddenly in a situation I really fear. My reaction is:
a. Take a deep breath and deal with it; here’s a chance to beat this fear.
b. I’ve got no choice but to get through this; it’ll be over soon.
c. I hate this, I hate this, I hate this. Hey, it’s over!
d. Run! Hide! Weep!
Scroll down the page to find out your score…………………………..
Give yourself 5 points for each (a) answer; 4 points for each (b) answer; 3 points for each (c) answer; and 1 point for each (d) answer. Now add up your scores; the lowest possible score is 20; the highest is 100. Here’s how to rate your score:
81-100: Congratulations! In the areas that experts say matter most, you have got life well under control and have the key elements required for a real, deep sense of happiness.
61-80: You’re doing well, but there are some areas in your life that are hurting your emotional well-being. Look where you answered (c) or (d), and ask yourself, is this approach really serving me?
41-60: At best, you are coping with life. At worst, you could be burned out, depressed or angry. The first step is to acknowledge that your emotional health is not good. The second step is to get help. Breaking through tough times is easier with guidance.
20-40: With numbers like these, you’re not merely having a tough time. Seek professional help. You deserve to get happiness into your life; it’s what our natural state should be.