As part of its “50 Things That Put the ‘Feel Great’ in Great Britain” campaign, BUPA, the UK’s largest private health insurer, recently concluded a survey of 2,000 British citizens to determine what made people happy.
The good news: Nearly all of the top 50 activities named were inexpensive and easy to accomplish. Instead of the expected “winning the lottery” or “buying a new Jaguar,” the list was dominated by simple pleasures such as “feeling the sun on your face” (#2), “talking and playing with your pet” (#27) and “the smell of new books” (#36). (Perhaps surprising to Anglophiles around the world, “The Royal Family” bottomed out the list at #50.)
The bad news: Despite the cornucopia of accessible, feel-good activities people named, a disconcertingly low number of survey respondents frequently feel good. Less than 15 percent reported they experienced a “great moment more than once a month,” and nearly 20 percent reported “lacking inspiration.” Not surprisingly, among the top reasons people cited most often for not feeling great were stress, a lack of sleep and financial pressures.