Brits feel happiest when with loved ones, drinking tea or sleeping, study says

Brits feel their happiest when their surrounded by loved ones, enjoying a cuppa or snoozing, a study has found.

After a lonely and separated 2020, almost four in 10 feel the most content when in the company of friends and family, while 27% say it’s when having a hug.

Others feel content when laughing (32%), having a clean and tidy house (22%) and spending time with their pets (19%).

Eating freshly-baked goods (18%), getting dinner in the oven (20%) and finishing work on time (7%) also feature in the top 50 list.

It also emerged more than half of those polled admitted to needing comfort more than ever this year, with 67% feeling that this year has been mentally draining.

Paulina Gorska, from Schulstad Bakery Solutions, which commissioned the research, said: “This year has been one of the hardest many of us have ever faced.

“And in a time of turmoil and uncertainty, we turn to comfort and want to spend time doing things which leave us feeling content, happy and able to forget about the real world for a little bit.

“Whether that is speaking to loved ones, reading a book or simply taking a few moments in the morning to unwind and enjoy a coffee and Danish pastry, it’s important to find something which leaves you feeling cosy and content to help your wellbeing.

“Sometimes it’s the little things in life which can make the most difference to how you feel.”

Research showed (53%) were dreading the winter months this year, with four in 10 not looking forward to a ‘Covid Christmas.’

And with 53% admitting to feeling more down than ever before, it’s no surprise 15% have turned to other countries for inspiration on how to boost their wellbeing.

Almost four in 10 also said they have embraced the ‘hygge’ way of life – a Danish concept of cosy contentment and wellbeing – pronounced Hoo-gah to rhyme to nougat.

A fifth have done this by appreciating their surroundings, while 34% have enjoyed the simple pleasures.

Others have made the most of socially distanced brunches with friends (12%), enjoyed a good book (23%) and indulged in a spot of pampering (12%).

Positive psychologist and author of The Little Book of Happiness, Miriam Akhtar, said: “This survey reflects what we have seen over the course of the pandemic.

"When stress levels rise, people’s need for a sense of peace grows and we return to the simple, meaningful activities of life like hanging out with loved ones or engaging in absorbing hobbies and crafts.

“Hygge is a joyful state of mind when you feel at your most relaxed which more people should look to incorporate in their lives.

"To do hygge you need to feel completely at ease, either alone or in the company of loved ones.

"It clearly works as the Danes frequently top the league table of the happiest nations.”

The Scandinavian trend has rapidly grown in popularity in recent years.

Earlier this month, previous Great British Bake Off star, Sandi Toksvig, kicked off her BBC Radio 4 show that explores the Danish notion of hygge with celebrity guests.

But despite Brits grasping the concept of hygge, just one in five know how to pronounce the word.

More than half of those polled, via OnePoll, said they are in need of a hygge moment, with 55% feeling this way during 2020 more than ever before.

And three in five declared they felt 'happier and healthier' when implementing hygge into their daily lives.

Top 50 things that make Brits feel content

  1. Spending time with family or loved ones
  2. Laughing
  3. Listening to music
  4. Having time for themselves
  5. Reading a book
  6. Watching TV or a film
  7. A hug
  8. Having a hot drink and pastry
  9. Chocolate
  10. Eating their favourite meal
  11. A long walk on the beach or in the woods
  12. Getting into a bed made with freshly washed bed sheets
  13. Sleeping
  14. Hanging out with friends
  15. A clean and tidy house
  16. Reconnecting with nature
  17. Travelling
  18. A comforting dinner
  19. Booking a holiday
  20. Smiling
  21. Spending time with pets
  22. Exercising
  23. Having a slice of cake or a baked good
  24. Connecting with their partner
  25. Having a lie in
  26. Eating something sweet
  27. Switching off
  28. Helping other people
  29. Sitting under a blanket on the sofa while it's raining outside
  30. Ticking everything off their to-do list
  31. Hearing their children laughing
  32. Cooking or baking
  33. Waking up and realising it's the weekend
  34. An early night with a good book
  35. Decluttering
  36. Going on a date with a loved one
  37. Starting a new book
  38. Pampering
  39. A good day at work
  40. Having a bath with a candle
  41. Listening to the radio or a podcast
  42. Buying everything they need on their shopping list
  43. Crafting
  44. Finishing work on time
  45. Meditating
  46. Cleaning
  47. Painting or drawing
  48. Putting their out of office on
  49. Keep a gratitude log or diary
  50. Being on social media

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