This article was originally published at The Conversation. The publication contributed the article to Live Science’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. We’d all like to be a little happier. The problem is that much of what determines happiness is outside of our control. Some of us are genetically predisposed to see the world through rose-colored glasses, while others have a generally negative outlook. Bad things happen, to us and in the world. People can be unkind, and jobs can be tedious. But we do have some control over how we spend our leisure time. That’s one reason why it’s worth asking which leisure time activities are linked to happiness, and which aren’t. In a new analysis of 1 million U.S. teens, my co-authors and I looked at how teens were spending their free time and which activities correlated with happiness, and which didn’t. We wanted to see if changes in the way teens spend their free time might partially explain a startling drop in teens’ happiness after 2012 – and perhaps the decline in adults’ happiness since 2000 as well. A possible culprit emerges In our study, we analyzed data from a nationally representative survey of eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders that’s been conducted… Read full this story
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