When you think about the times that you’re at your happiest it often might not be when you’re doing something ‘fun’ – holidaying in Paris, say, or partying with very cool and important people. The really happy moments are the quieter ones, eating dinner with your family, or enjoying a sunset with a glass of wine, perhaps dancing like a loon around the kitchen with your partner. And according to new research that perfectly happy time might be 7pm.
That’s the finding by a team of 33 researchers, led by psychologist Esther Guillaume of the University of California at Riverside. The group looked at more than 5400 people from 20 countries and found similarities across activities – and happiness levels – among the group. As the researchers concluded, at 7pm, we all feel more or less the same about what we’re doing.
“[T]he situational experience of individuals around the world at 7 p.m. was, on average, highly similar and largely pleasant, and the homogeneity of individual situational experience was nearly as large between as within countries. This finding emerged even though the study examined situational experience in 20 countries, on 5 continents, using materials rendered in 14 different languages,” read the paper, published in The Journal of Personality..
When asked what they were doing at 7pm, particpants were generally found to be doing something ‘social’ or ‘simple’ or ‘potentially enjoyable’. Answers ranged from cooking pizza with a boyfriend to enjoying a drink on the balcony.
No matter where in the world, 7pm appeared to be be-witching hour.
However the study does need some caveats, the sample group was large, however it was made up of mostly university students, and while the study was global it only included countries that were not in conflict and participants on a comfortable income. Life could be very different at 7pm for a lot of other people.
Still, it’s cause to stop occasionally and really appreciate those quiet, happy and simple moments. Especially the ones at 7pm.