Studies on positive mood show a number of relevant findings:

*Men who scored in the top third range of optimism had 50% less heart attacks than men who scored in the bottom third
*2 or more traumatic events raised the risk of breast cancer by 62%
*Optimism in women reduced the risk of breast cancer by 25%
*Men who were high in worry where over twice as likely to develope type 2 diabetes
*Optimistic insurance salesmaen out sold their counterparts 21% the first year, 57& the second year and the gap continued to grow
* Physicians who had positive mood were more accurate and faster at making diagnoses

What’s the take away? Positive mood improves health, well-being and overall functioning. So how happy are you? Here is a scale by Pavot and Deiner (1993) that measures well-being, a measure of happiness.  Be sure to cover up the scoring key below so that your answers are unbiased.

Below are five statements that you may agree or disagree with. Using the 1 – 7 scale below, indicate your agreement with each item by placing the appropriate number on the line preceding that item. Please be open and honest in your responding.
  • 7 – Strongly agree
  • 6 – Agree
  • 5 – Slightly agree
  • 4 – Neither agree nor disagree
  • 3 – Slightly disagree
  • 2 – Disagree
  • 1 – Strongly disagree
____ In most ways my life is close to my ideal.
____ The conditions of my life are excellent.
____ I am satisfied with my life.
____ So far I have gotten the important things I want in life.
____ If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing.
      • 31 – 35 Extremely satisfied
      • 26 – 30 Satisfied
      • 21 – 25 Slightly satisfied
      • 20        Neutral
      • 15 – 19 Slightly dissatisfied
      • 10 – 14 Dissatisfied
      •  5 –  9   Extremely dissatisfied
The most common response range is Satisfied.  The ideal range is Extremely satisfied and is achieved by about 25% of people. No matter what you score, there is alway room for improvement. For specific activities to increase happiness, please refer to my previous blogs on creating happiness November 2014 and February 2015. 
Submitted by:
Holly O. Houston, Ph.D.