So, How Satisfied Are You With Your Life Nowadays?
The above question was one asked by the Office of National Statistics in their report ‘Personal and economic wellbeing: what matters most to life satisfaction’. The report, which was published this month involved the asking of four questions to members of the public and them ranking their answers on a 0-10 scale.
The questions asked were:
- Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?
- Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?
- Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?
- Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?
From the responses, life satisfaction was defined as either ‘Very high’, ‘High’, ‘Medium’ or ‘Low’.
Whilst the results are mostly unsurprising, it is perhaps significant that a branch of government is concerned with UK citizen’s wellbeing. This began in February this year, with the ONS’s ‘Beyond GDP’ initiative (GDP or Gross Domestic Product is a measure of a country’s output and GDP/capita can be seen as a straight-forward, if narrow and solely materialistic measure of the average person’s wellbeing – basically the value of output that the average person gets to consume).
Health had the clearest link to life satisfaction, with 3 times as many people who described their health as ‘Very good’ as having high life satisfaction, compared to those describing their health as ‘Fair’. Regarding marital status, those married or in civil partnerships had higher life satisfaction than single people, who themselves had higher life satisfaction than those who had separated from a partner or were widowed. Not surprisingly, being retired or in work is better for us than being unemployed or economically-inactive due to sickness or disability.
Regarding age, it seems that life satisfaction is generally high for young adults, but this drops to a low when people are in their forties. Life satisfaction then rises until around retirement age and falls when we hit about eighty.
Whatever one’s personal circumstances or situation, a session of therapy can help to reduce anxiety, enable you to make clearer decisions and enjoy life more.