4th April 2017
The majority of Britons (67%) believe that feeling in control is the key to being happy.
At a time of great political and economic unknowns, new research from loan provider Sunny shows that while 61% feel happy with life at present, just 14% have confidence in the current political situation in the UK
Some 56% of young people say they hate the fact they often feel ‘out of control’.
Job satisfaction over salary or seniority, and time spent with family make for a happier life.
For the purposes of this study, ‘life control’ is made up of different ingredients, including control over finances, family life, work life, grasp of life goals and confidence in UK politics.
This post-Brexit vote view of British society shows that although things are unsettled, UK consumers remain optimistic, with 61% saying they feel happy with life at present.
Digging deeper though, the nation’s sense of control across some aspects of life isn’t all position. Just under half (46%) of the population feel in control of their finances, whilst 45% say they have control over their family lives.
When it comes to work, while 45% are currently satisfied with their job, 46% of those in employment believe the possibility of being promoted is poor, and 31% do not expect to get a pay rise.
The Generation Game
The nation’s grandparents appear to feel most in control of all aspects of their lives, with 73% of those aged 65 – 74 saying they’re happy with their lot. By contrast, today’s millennials – often assumed to be entitled and precious as a generation – offer a different story. The Index shows that 71% of 18 – 24-year-olds say that generally feeling ‘in control’ is important to being happy, and appear to crave the levels of control enjoyed by their elders.
More than half (56%) of young people say they hate the fact they often feel ‘out of control’. In the current context of political uncertainty, it’s unsurprising that 68% of them say they regularly worry about the future and 73% say they frequently feel stressed.
The key ingredients to happiness
Looking at work and careers, it is job satisfaction that matters most when it comes to happiness and a sense of control, more than qualifications, seniority, or salary.
Those who rate their prospects of maintaining job satisfaction most highly are more likely to be happy with their lives overall (77% versus national average of 61%). They tend to have greater than average control over their finances (62% vs. national average of 40%), family lives (62% vs. 43%), and friendships (70% vs. 45%).
People with no formal qualifications appear just as likely to be happy with their lives (62%) as those who have been educated to degree level (60%). They are also less likely to feel stressed (33% versus 48% of those educated to degree level).
People who spend quality time with their families at least once a week are likely to be optimistic about the future, and have greater-than-average confidence in the current political situation in the UK. Most (81%) people who have control over their family life rate their overall happiness at 10/10 and just 30% of them regularly worry about the future.
Making the most of free time
It is a well-known fact that regular exercise releases endorphins and 60% of those who go to the gym every day say they are happy, as do 69% of those who go running every week. In addition, 52% who go to the gym daily have control of their finances.
Scott Greever from Sunny says: “Life consists of many moving parts and no two of us are exactly the same, so it’s unsurprising that there’s no universal recipe for achieving complete life control. What is clear from our research is that feeling satisfied with your work, spending time with your family, and making the time to do what you enjoy are some of the key ingredients to overall control.”