Want to be happier? You have more control over it than you think! A 26-year psychological study of over 150,000 people has proved that long-term happiness and satisfaction is based less on genetic makeup, personality traits and childhood experiences than experts thought, and more on factors you can control - and that bring happiness. Including volunteering, exercising, going to church, spending time with friends and family, having long-term goals, and having a spouse that shares those goals. You’ll notice a lot of those things have to do with creating stronger social ties, and having realistic hopes and dreams for the future.

On the flip side, certain factors can make you more unhappy. Like the inability to set realistic goals. The pursuit of wealth and material goods – basically, trying to keep up with the Joneses. As well as being around neurotic people, someone who’s anxious, depressed, or uninvolved in family matters. The study author says you can also boost your happiness by planning ahead, whether you’re saving for a house, planning a vacation, or planning your retirement. Studies show that people who have things to look forward to - and work toward - get a big boost in overall happiness.

You can also boost your happiness by not focusing too much on work. Of course, being able to pay your bills increases your overall happiness and satisfaction in life, but you’ll be even happier if you also make time for leisure activities that you enjoy - whether it’s playing pickup basketball, haunting flea markets, or reading a book in bed.