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Best things in life are free: study

Be it a long soak in the bath or a leisurely stroll post-supper, things which make people happy come without a price tag.

india Updated: Oct 20, 2007 13:02 IST

Are the best things in life free? Well, the old adage, in all fairness, can't be called a crock. The best things in life - a long soak in the bath, an afternoon snooze or a leisurely stroll after supper - which make people the most happy do come without a price tag, according to researchers in Britain.

"While buying sports cars, giving up work and going on exotic holidays is out of reach for most of us, there are small lessons we can learn from society's happiest people. It appears that spending time relaxing is secret to a happy life. "Cost-free pleasures are the ones that make the difference, even when you can afford anything that you want," the Daily Mail quoted lead researcher Dr Richard Tunney of the University of Nottingham as saying here.

<b1>"Even if you suddenly become a millionaire overnight, the things that are going to make you happy are the things that most of us do all the time anyway. They simply have more time to do the things we do ourselves such as spending time with our families and generally relaxing," he added.

In fact, the Dr Tunney and his team of researchers came to the conclusion after comparing the "happiness levels" of 62 lottery jackpot winners in Britain who had average winnings of £3.3 million, with those of a 120-strong control group earning an average £26,000.

Respondents were asked how satisfied they were in relation to different elements of their life, how often they treated themselves and what form this took.

The participants' different mood states were also examined. According to the findings published today, it wasn't the flashy cars and diamond jewellery that upped the happiness quotient for the jackpot winners. It was activities such as listening to music, reading a book, or enjoying a bottle of wine with a takeaway that really made the difference.