The study found three main things make people happy:
1. Feeling grateful
2. Spending time with family and friends
3. Helping others
Happiness is a learned skill. The secret to being happy is to concentrate on the things in your life that work well and feel thankful for them. This is as simple as being grateful for the hot cup of coffee you are drinking. Our brains either notice the things we appreciate or the things that annoy us. It is a conscious choice to be happy.
A connection to other people is also important, including friends, family, neighbors and co-workers. The university found most people are less connected and have fewer friends than 20 years ago. Feeling connected to people, rather than consumption and materialism, has a great influence on overall happiness.