This month we’re focusing on happiness – what affects it, what drives it and how important being happy really is.

First up, what is it that happy people have in common? What are the driving factors to maintaining a positive outlook, feeling content from within and ultimately… happy?

The Dalai Lama is quoted as saying, “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” 

And as Patron for Action for Happiness, it makes sense that the organisation’s vision is to create a happier world, with fewer people suffering with mental health problems and more people feeling good, functioning well and helping others.

Research suggests that our genes and upbringing influences about 50 per cent of the variation in our personal happiness, and our circumstances, such as environment or income, only affects about 10 per cent; which leaves us with a remaining 40 per cent, accounted for by our daily activities and the conscious choices we make.

While perhaps a surprising split, it’s also a really positive one as it shows we have the ability to proactively increase our own happiness.

Another organisation placing happiness at the forefront is Happify – with lessons on how to overcome stress and negative thoughts to how to break old patterns and form new habits, it is a minefield of happiness nuggets – not to mention methods of measuring and navigating your emotional wellbeing. And it was here we stumbled across a brilliant and witty article sharing a selection of instant happiness boosters that can heavily affect your mood.

We’ve packaged a few of them up in a neat little quiz above so give it a go and let us know how you get on! You can also find more from this study and the reasons behind the numbers here.