Survey Says: Woman’s Day Magazine Asks, What Makes You Happy?

WomansDay_summer.jpgWomen say they’re happy enough, but winning the lottery would make them even happier. Even up against those odds, most believe that happiness is a choice and tend to find their fulfillment in love, family and spirituality. Still, if you press them enough, what makes most women the happiest? I can just picture thousands of women blushing and smiling slyly as they whisper, “Me time.”

These are just a few of the results of a recent survey conducted by Woman’s Day magazine and AOL Living, in which 12,000 women were asked about their pursuit of happiness. With the release of Gretchen Rubin’s book “The Happiness Project”–a memoir about a woman who spends a year testing out theories about how to find joy–happiness is becoming a hot topic. Each month,
Woman’s Day magazine does its own version of the project: In the April 2010 issue, the focus was on money and how to be happy with (and without) it; subsequent months have zeroed in on being mindful and conscious of the present (May), on order and how to achieve it (June), and on reconnecting with your spirit (July).
So, what else did the survey have to say? Here are a few highlights, the results of which were published in Woman’s Day magazine‘s April issue:

  • Are you happy? Call me Pollyanna, but I was disappointed with the results of this one. Only 11 percent of woman said they were blissfully happy. The rest were either happy enough (67 percent) or not happy at all (22 percent). Boo!

  • Do you wake up happy? Surprisingly enough, most women (56 percent) said they bounce out of bed in a good mood. I’m not a morning person, so I would likely fall into the remaining 44 percent of women who aren’t chipper in the a.m.
  • Can money buy happiness? The majority (65 percent) said no; yet when asked what would make them the happiest, 56 percent put winning the lottery high above losing 20 pounds (22 percent) or having a great sex life (22 percent). Hmm, do I detect a bit of sarcasm here? With the economy still in bad shape, I suspect those who chose the lottery over their looks and love life were just being tongue and cheek!
  • What are the keys to happiness? Relationships ruled on this one! Love (28 percent), family (18 percent) and spirituality (16 percent) topped the ranks. Less popular answers included (in descending order) contentment, gratitude, money, a sense of control and time alone.
  • What makes you very happy? For 31 percent of women, it’s “me” time. (Shh, don’t tell!) Children (23 percent) come in second, with friends, faith, marriage and jobs rounding out the list.
  • Is happiness a choice? This one was nearly unanimous (78 percent)… yes!

What do you think? Where do you fall on the happiness scale? What brings you the most joy? Weigh in and join the conversation!

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Emily McMackin

About Emily McMackin

Emily McMackin is an editor, writer and perpetual storyteller with an incurable addiction to coffee, magazines, Neil Diamond and Caribbean travel. She resides in Music City USA (that's Nashville, Tenn., ya'll!), where you'll find her staking out live music, salsa dancing, scouring town for the best latte and working on her first No. 1 (book that is).