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Image / Editorial

The Happiest Time of Day?


by IMAGE
07th Apr 2015

Ever wondered what the best time of day is? Have you an idea of when you’re at your happiest on any given day? Unless you’re one of those weird morning people who smiles before 8.30 am (gross), mornings are probably out of the question. And unless you’re of that rare breed of human who loves their job more than anything, we reckon you can strike through from nine to five. But what about that time of day when you’re at home, when the dinner’s been made and the decks have been cleared, that beautiful time when your only difficult decisions range from ‘will I go for an evening stroll or will I run a hot bubble bath?’ to ‘I could put on a wash, or, I could just lie here and bask in my own lazy freedom’ (granted, this one might not be an option for those who have kids). According to a study that’s been published in the Journal of Perosnality, the happiest time of day is 7pm.

Arriving at this conclusion, the study’s researchers gathered data from over 5,440 folk from 20 different countries around the world. Pre-empting that 7pm might be the ideal time of day, the researchers first asked their group of participants what exactly they got up to at 7pm the night previous. Following this, each participant recorded various statements that corresponded to their activity at 7pm. They were asked to rate their experiences in a way that showed whether that time of day leads to more conversation, time to tease out ‘unusual ideas’ and lots more.

The results showed that people shared similar experiences across all 20 countries, as per the original author, Neuroskeptic. Their experiences were, as he says, “basically simple and clear?cut,? “potentially enjoyable,” and for most people, “social interaction is possible.? From “relaxing on the balcony” and “drinking wine” to “cooking pizza with my boyfriend,” the majority of experiences were pleasant, leading observers of the study (entitled “The World at 7: Comparing the experience of situations across 20 countries”) to conclude?that perhaps it’s this particular time when we’re at our most happy.

While we could probably agree that 7pm is a pretty nice time to relax, we’d want to see more research into the other 23 hours of the day. Nevertheless, what do you find yourself doing at 7pm? Is it pleasant?

@CarolineForan