Having children is a fulfilling experience, no doubt, but it turns out there are a few other (less wholesome) things that make people really stand up and express their satisfaction. And according to a recent study, those things are sex and booze.
What makes you happy?
The study by postgraduate psychology researcher Carsten Grimm from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand found people rate sex as the top activity that brings them happiness, followed by drinking alcohol or "partying.” Childcare ranked fifth on the list — sorry kids!
How it went down
Researchers at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand conducted the study using an interesting method to collect data on what people did during an average day and how they felt about each activity: via text messaging. Grimm had the survey participants rank 30 activities (from child rearing to video games) on three criteria: whether it brought them pleasure, how engaged they were when doing the activity and if it brought them overall happiness. Shockingly, having sex took first place in all categories. Go figure!
What does it all mean?
It’s not shocking that sex made the number one spot on a study about what makes people happy. It is, after all a pleasurable experience. Booze we can also understand. While you definitely don’t need it to have a good time, and too much is never a good thing, people enjoy their cocktails (and beer and wine). Booze is a social lubricant and (in moderation) makes people feel less stressed out and more likely to focus on having a good time (not the presentation they have to do next week).
What else made the list?
When it comes to happiness, there were a few other things that contributed to a positive outlook aside from a roll in the hay and an expertly mixed cocktail. We know childcare and playing with children ranked fifth out of 10, but what else made the list? Volunteering and caregiving came third, meditating and religious activities came fourth, listening to music or podcasts came sixth and socializing came in at number seven.