Today's the Happiest Day of 2010, According to Math

happy spinning kid photo
Photo: slezo

Have you noticed yourself smiling a bit more than usual today? Is there an extra spring to your step and a twinkle in your eye? If so, it might be because today, June 18, is the happiest day of the year--at least that's according to a special mathematical formula designed to measure happiness. Developed by a psychologist, the formula considers several green "feel-good factors" to determine the year's most cheery date, such as the season, likelihood of being outdoors, temperature, and connection to childhood memories. All these factors have added up, making today the happiest day of 2010. According to the Irish Examiner, psychologist and former Cardiff University lecturer Dr Cliff Arnall is responsible for the special "happiness equation" which determined June 18 was the date that feel-good emotion would peak. His formula factors in a number of elements sure to get folks smiling, though the equation itself looks quite complicated:

O + (N x S) + Cpm/T + He

The Examiner breaks down the formula:

Put simply, a value for being outdoors (O) was added to nature (N) multiplied by social interaction (S), added to childhood summer memories (Cpm) divided by temperature (T), and added to holiday excitement (He).

"The third Friday in June came out with the highest rating due to peaking factors, such as warm summer evenings outdoors, seeing friends more frequently, and excitement about holidays," explains Dr. Arnall.

While the World Cup may be a source of frustration to some, particularly if your nation isn't winning, Dr. Arnall insists that in either case the games are adding to our overall happiness today.

There's no reason, however, that a people couldn't be a bit happier all year round, says Arnall, particularly when the emotion is so accessible. "A person doesn't need much to be happy," he added. "What makes us happiest are relationships with partners, family and friends."

More on Finding Happiness
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