About six months ago I watched the video below and I decided to try Track Your Happiness:
Track Your Happiness.org is a new scientific research project that aims to use modern technology to help answer this age-old question. Using this site in conjunction with your iPhone, you can systematically track your happiness and find out what factors – for you personally – are associated with greater happiness. Your responses, along with those from other users of trackyourhappiness.org, will also help us learn more about the causes and correlates of happiness.
(From: About – Track Your Happiness, last accessed: Saturday 19th April 2014)
Fifty times I was sent emails with a link to a questionnaire about my current state of happiness. First it collated what day it was (I think collating the time would have also been useful), asked where I was, asked what I was doing and whether I had to do or wanted to do what I was doing. Here were my results:
Then I was asked about how focused I was feeling and how productive I was being. Here were my results:
Then I was asked about the amount of sleep I had got the night before, along with the quality. At the time I wasn’t sleeping well. Here were the results:
There are a few human errors in this data. This was because on a few occasions, I checked the wrong box or clicked the wrong ratio button and clicked the next question button, before realising the error (a Back button would have been useful and eliminated these human errors).
In terms of data analysis a flaw is that the data is self-reported. That said, I don’t know how else you could measure something that’s as subjective as happiness is.
I really enjoyed taking part in this study and I found the data interesting. Some of the data I already knew – such as the amount & quality of sleep I was getting, but some of the data surprised me – such as how much time I was doing different activities.
The most surprising realisation for me was that the more I thought about happiness, the happier I became. So if you want to be happier, try thinking about happiness more and consider Tracking Your Happiness.