There are some women who have already unlocked the secret to happiness.
Until recently, it was widely thought among psychologists that only two personality traits were crucial in determining a person’s happiness and wellbeing. Psychological research suggested that extroversion and neuroticism were the determining factors, and to have a happy mind, you should be an extrovert, who is not neurotic.
This understanding feeds into what’s known as the ‘Big Five Personality Traits’, a widely used model among psychologists. The traditional five are openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness extroversion and neuroticism – the latter two being the ones that determine happiness and wellbeing.
But new research has discovered that it is not as straightforward as this.
The results from one study showed that there is in fact five different personality traits that result in a greater wellbeing score, as opposed to the original two traits.
Study co-author Scott Barry Kaufman explains to the Independent: “These are five different personal paths to wellbeing. If you score high in any of these five personality aspects, you are probabilistically more likely to have high wellbeing across multiple aspects of your life.”
Some women have this already figured out, and therefore are living their best possible life. Here are the five traits. If you feel you score highly in these, you are likely a happy person, according to the new study:
Enthusiastic people tend to be friendly, fun and sociable. They easily open up emotionally, have positive emotions and relationships, and enjoy a sense of life satisfaction and achievement.
2. Low withdrawal
People with low withdrawal are happier with themselves. They are less neurotic, not easily embarrassed or overwhelmed and have a greater sense of autonomy.
The trait of industriousness results in the person being self-disciplined, purposeful and focussed on achievement. They are passionate, do not easily quit and persevere to attain their goals. This leads to higher wellbeing.
Compassion goes hand in hand with kindness, agreeableness and empathy. Caring about others’ wellbeing, means you improve your own. The researchers found that more compassionate people are happier in their own lives.
5. Intellectual curiosity
Thinking deeply about complex matters and engaging your brain in philosophical and intellectual thought, can mean greater self-acceptance, autonomy, personal growth, purpose and accomplishment. Though intellectual curiosity was found to have no impact on positive relationships and engagement with life.