Happiness is a Long Bath

At last! Research shows that I was destined to be happy from the moment that tricky combination of genes and environment endowed me with a craving for long hot baths at any time of day.

A study conducted by Dr Richard Tunney of the University of Nottingham compared the happiness levels of lottery jackpot winners with a control group, using a ‘Satisfaction with Life Scale’ developed by the University of Illinois. Tunney investigated the kinds of treats which influenced their moods, contrasting cost-free activities, such as walking and snoozing, with expensive ones.

Lottery jackpot winners were on the whole happier than non-winners — with 95 percent claiming they were positive about their life compared to 71 percent of the control group. The research found that “happy people — whether lottery jackpot winners or not — liked long baths, going swimming, playing games and enjoying their hobby”, whilst those who described themselves as less happy chose buying things or eating out according to their budget, instead.

At last! Research shows that I was destined to be happy from the moment that tricky combination of genes and environment endowed me with a craving for long hot baths at any time of day! I may be doing little for the environment, but what a knock-on effect my own happiness has on the world! I always knew the secret to happiness was neither making nor spending money but hopping from bath to swimming pool and back with quick breaks for reading, writing or knocking a ball about. It’s all in the water. It must be because at the start of our evolution we were water monkeys! It must be because we all like to pretend we are back in the womb! I have rarely felt my world view so precisely confirmed by a piece of research.

“It appears that spending time relaxing is the secret to a happy life. Cost-free pleasures are the ones that make the difference — even when you can afford anything that you want”, says Dr Tunney. Absolutely. Rather than waste my money on a lottery ticket, I’m going to run the bath now.

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