Men are happier in life than women - especially when it comes to appearance

Men are generally happier in life than women, particularly when it comes to their appearance, new research has found.

A detailed study into 12 aspects of modern life found men experience higher levels of happiness in seven of them, including salary, appearance and body shape.

Women's scores were higher than men in the love life, family life and sex life categories.

Overall, the average adult rates their current happiness level at an encouraging 64 per cent.

The study, commissioned by Benenden Health, also found the typical woman's happiness scored highly in general health and their living location.

Other areas in which men emerged as happier than the opposite sex were career prospects, 'how other people see you', finances and job security.

The nation's mood emerged amid a detailed study which initially asked people to opt for 'cup half full' or 'cup half empty' and then examined the reasoning behind their decision.

And the results claim to have settled the age-old debate around the popular saying, with six in ten people claiming they adopt a positive outlook overall.

The biggest barrier to feeling content in day-to-day life was money worries, which affected 46 per cent of respondents.

In fact, it would take just £132 extra a month for the average person to make ends meet and dramatically improve their overall happiness.

The researchers say this proves it's not just a big windfall that would help increase the average person's outlook on life, but in fact a relatively modest sum.


Career prospects
Current body shape/ weight
How other people see you
Your finances overall
Job security

Love life
Family life
Sex life
Living location

Unsurprisingly, those questioned said better weather would improve their mood - and would be the thing most likely to raise their optimism day to day, along with receiving more affection from a partner.

Eating a better diet, a job that is more satisfying and finally shaking a long term injury or illness all featured in the top 10 wishes for a brighter outlook.

More reassurance from the boss, spending more time with family and good performance from sports teams also featured in the list.

One of the more bizarre findings was that a third of people studied would be more optimistic in life if their partner showed them more commitment.

And, perhaps contrary to popular belief, getting hitched seems to do wonders for a brighter perspective on life with married people rating significantly happier than singles in almost all categories.

Despite this, one fifth couples said they had actually become less optimistic in life since getting married.

When looking forwards the study was split 50/50 between those who thought they had good reason to be positive and those searching for reasons to be optimistic about their life.

However, there was a clear trend towards happiness growing with age - over 55s proved the most likely to rate themselves as an eternal optimist.

The biggest barrier to feeling content in day-to-day life was money worries, which affected 46 per cent of respondents

Interestingly, the younger generation seemed less upbeat overall and were most likely to say their outlook has become gloomier in recent times.

This trend rises directly with age, with the under 25s most likely to say their perspective on life has become more negative and the over 55s least likely to feel their optimism has declined.

The study also found despite the lingering economic doom, soaring cost of living and stagnant housing market the majority of us have adopted a Monty Python-style 'Always look on the bright side of life' attitude.

Paul Keenan of Benenden Health, which commissioned the report, said: 'Given the pessimistic economic outlook, the financial restraints everyone is under and the grim weather, it's good to discover deep down, there seems to be a positive and forward-looking attitude across Britain.

'Certainly, a positive attitude goes a long way towards creating a feeling of well-being which in turn can only be good for our long term health.

'This doesn't detract from the fact many families have real difficulties and struggles to face in the current economic climate - but perhaps serves to demonstrate the British "stiff upper lip" is alive and well in the 21st century.'

He added: 'It's interesting to see men are more likely to adopt a more upbeat view overall - although that particular finding is likely to be a debate that will rumble on and on.

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