BEING happy has now been categorised to having just three things.
A loving partner, up to $100,000 of household income and a social activity offering some sort of purpose have been deemed the "golden triangle of happiness".
Deakin University in Melbourne has revealed it does not matter where you live, if you have a blue or white collar or if you have kids.
As long as you live within the golden triangle you're more than likely to be donning a permanent smile.
This has been the result of the culmination of 29 Australian happiness surveys over 12 years.
Deakin University Professor Robert Cummins, who is considered the country's leading happiness expert at the university's School of Psychology, said a good intimate relationship is more important than money.
"People who haven't got someone to share their life in an intimate way - where you can share your troubles - are very vulnerable to the bad things that happen to them.
The magic number is $100,000 of gross household income.
"He said the third ingredient for ultimate happiness is combining something you're interested in with social activity and a sense of purpose.
"People who do volunteer work combine those very well," Mr Cummins said.
Happy life all about balance
PAT and Jess Beresford regard a good work to life balance just as important as the three things already in the "golden triangle of happiness".
The Gladstone couple has been together since 2005 and tied the knot in 2011.
"Having a loving partner lets you know there is someone who understands you and who you can rely on," Jess said. "But a good work-life balance allows you to spend quality time with your family."
Due to Pat having shift work and the arrival of their 5-month-old baby, William, they don't play sport but do regard social activity as a high lifestyle factor.
"We do stay involved in social activities," Jess said. "We participate in Botanic to Bridge, go to the gym and local markets."
Jess said money could give you financial security but a baby helped one realise what life was all about.
"Our son brings a new level of happiness to our life. He is certainly our greatest achievement."
What else makes people happy?
- Positive thinking
- Going on a holiday
- Eating cake
- Waking up on a sunny day
- Seeing an old friend
- People who are the happiest within the golden triangle are in the 55-60 age bracket.
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