Last Monday, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Leuven (KUL) revealed that advice on how to live happier lives impacted our level of happiness both short term and long term. These recommendations enable us to question our lifestyles and also what makes us happy. This research was jointly conducted by a team of Patrick Luyten’s, psychology professor at KU Leuven, and by Belgian author Leo Bormans, who wrote the bestseller “Happiness”. At the beginning of 2014, more than 7,770 people took part in the month-long happiness research study. A follow-up of these volunteers was then conducted for a further six months.
The researchers hypothesized that happiness was genetically determined for 50% of people and that it depended on specific circumstances for another 10 percent. The team then sought to determine how the remaining 40% experienced happiness.
The study pointed to the positive and lasting impact of positive psychology, which involves tips for living happier lives. Nearly 8,000 participants were divided into three groups. One team was given daily advice for happier living. The second received general recommendations on happiness every week. A third group was first given questionnaires, before receiving advice four weeks later.
At the end of the study, 74% of participants felt that these “happiness tips” had changed their outlook on life. More than 83% of volunteers revealed that these recommendations had encouraged them to question their everyday lives.