It’s not only what we experience in life, but how we feel about those experiences, that will influence whether or not we feel happy. The first crucial step on a journey towards being happier is to work out where you stand right now in terms of happiness. Take this short quiz to get a better picture of your starting point. 

How do you feel about your life overall at this moment? 

a) Optimistic

b) Dissatisfied

c) Frustrated

d) Sad

How often do you exercise? 

a) Every day

b) Every week

c) Once in a blue moon

d) Never

When you look back on your work achievements, do you feel: 

a) Thrilled

b) Pleased at how things have turned out

c) Frustrated. You believe you could have done better

d) Disappointed

How often do you do something, just for fun? 

a) Every day

b) Every week

c) Once in a blue moon

d) Never

How do you sleep? 

a) Very well – average eight hours a night

b) Usually well, but it can depend on what’s going on

c) Not too badly, but often wake in the night

d) Very badly – insomnia always a problem

Do you follow the news every day? 

a) Not often, unless there’s a big story I am following

b) I check the headlines online in the morning 

c) I try and watch the evening news most days 

d) I’m a news junkie, following it online, in print and on the radio and television

When you woke this morning, did you feel: 

a) Delighted it was time to get up

b) Neutral – neither one thing nor another 

c) Apprehensive 

d) Despondent

How often do you socialise with friends? 

a) Every day

b) Every week 

c) Once in a blue moon 

d) Never

How do you rate your general health? 

a) Excellent

b) Not bad

c) Poor

d) Terrible

Do you have positive memories of your childhood? 

a) Yes – it was a happy time

b) Yes, it was good

c) Not really. It was OK, but now is better

d) It was very difficult

If you receive a piece of bad or dispiriting news, how long does it take you to bounce back? 

a) Not long, if I can talk it through with someone close

b) A short while, depending on what else is going on

c) A few days. I tend to brood over things

d) Ages. I obsessively go over and over it in my head

Score your answers 

A=4points / B=3points / C=2points / D=1points 

Score between 48 and 36 points 

You’re pretty optimistic about life and resilient when it comes to the normal run of ups and downs. You probably already do a variety of things you find rewarding and which help to reinforce your positive outlook on life, and you have a good network of support for when things might be difficult.

Score between 35 and 24 points 

You are reasonably content although you may be more influenced by external circumstances than you’d like, and would benefit from introducing new opportunities to enrich your daily life and support networks. This, in turn, will help you build greater resilience and manage the bad times better.

Score between 23 and 12 points 

This may be a good time to take a look at how you live your life and whether you are doing enough to balance the negative with the positive. You may need to look closely at your relationships and the work you are doing, and explore whether either of these are causing stress and stopping you from feeling happy. Are you doing enough exercise, getting enough sleep and eating properly? If not, you may want to think about consulting a health professional or seeking some sort of therapy to help you get back on the happiness track.