Always look on the bright side of life, say half of adults – who would describe themselves as ‘glass half full’.
A new study found Brits to be a brighter bunch than they are often given credit for – with a third rating their general happiness levels as an eight or nine out of 10.
Likewise, 12 per cent of people ranked their health at nine – and a cumulative 47 per cent said they were an eight to 10 on the scale of happiness with the place where they live.
There was also good news for body positivity – 23 per cent rated their weight as an eight or nine out of 10, while the average Brit places it as a satisfying eight.
However, unfortunately, one third of those polled admitted they were ‘glass half empty’ in their attitude to life.
And researchers found half of respondents think of their fellow citizens in Britain as ‘gloomy’ and generally pessimistic in their outlook. Just 14 per cent of people believe that, overall, the British are an optimistic nation.
The dreary weather was cited as the most likely source of glumness, while high prices and poverty also bring people down.
Geoffrey Dennis, Chief Executive of international animal charity SPANA, which provides free veterinary treatment to working animals in developing countries, said: “It’s clear that people in the UK think that we are not the most positive nation and generally regard fellow Brits as a gloomy bunch.
“However, while life isn’t perfect in this country, it’s important to keep perspective.
‘’The everyday problems people commonly complain about – such as the weather – are very trivial compared to the hard lives endured by working animals and their owners in developing countries around the world.
‘’These animals carry back-breaking loads, working long hours in extreme temperatures, usually without access to essential veterinary care when they are sick or injured.”
When asked what would help them feel a little more optimistic, 42 per cent said more sunny weather would do the trick, while earning a few extra hundred pounds each month would make others happier.
Relief from an injury or illness and more time with kids and family would also go a long way in making people feel happier with their life overall.
And many said that exercising more, moving to somewhere new and going travelling would help them perceive the world in a more positive way.
Losing weight, paying off debt and more affection from the other half also wouldn’t go amiss.
Sadly, researchers discovered some folk are unlucky in lust – as 12 per cent rated their sex life at ONE, and one in 10 ranked their career prospects at rock-bottom.
Fretting over finances and health issues were hurdles to optimism – while one fifth said seeing horrible things in the news prevented a more positive outlook on life.
Over a third felt they would actually be happier if their partner showed more commitment – whether by proposing, convincing them they’re serious, or putting in more effort.
A further 12 per cent simply said they a naturally negative person.
Frank Sinatra famously quipped “A man doesn’t know what happiness is until he’s married. By then it’s too late”.
But this was by no means the case for Brits, as 30 per cent said they have become more optimistic since getting married.
But Brits were split on the relationship roles, as respondents could not call the optimist or pessimist between themselves and their partner.
However, fifty per cent of those polled claim they have good reason to be really upbeat – and more than half said they typically laugh a lot in their day-to-day life.
And there were many sources of happiness for people: half said their partner kept them smiling each day, while 46 per cent felt their children were the biggest source of joy in their lives – and one third said their pets were daily and devoted reasons to be cheerful.
The arts were suitably inspiring for many, with a cumulative 45 per cent citing music, books and art as the biggest sources of happiness in their lives.
For others it was the finer things in life – such as food, travel and holidays.
Geoffrey Dennis added: “Of course, life is never entirely plain sailing and everyone will encounter difficulties at some stage, but thankfully there are many reasons for people in the UK to feel positive.
“It’s important that we don’t lose sight of the fact that, around the world, there are people and animals that aren’t so fortunate.
‘’SPANA is working to improve the lives of working animals and the communities that depend on them.
‘’These animals play a vital role in supporting the livelihoods of the world’s poorest people, but all too often their welfare is neglected and they suffer short, painful lives.”
AVERAGE HAPPINESS SCALE –
1 = not happy at all
10 = very happy
Happiness overall – 7
Salary – 6
Love life – 7
Family life – 7
Sex life – 6
Career prospects – 5
Overall health – 6
Home town – 7
Current weight – 6
Appearance – 6
How other people see you – 6
Finances – 6
Job security – 6