By Daniel Hunter

Britons exhibited a greater sense of happiness over recent weeks than they did a year ago, according to business information group, Precise.

A comparison of UK social media conversations over the past six weeks, with the same period in 2011, has found that positive attitudes have increased by 11 per cent.

The research has further found that the proportion of people tweeting, blogging, and posting online, who profess to love their life over those who say they hate their life has also shifted upwards, with 70 per cent of those who express “love” or “hate” for their life now professing to 'loving their life', compared to 62 per cent last year.

Happiness bounce

Precise’s research is based on searches of UK social media conversations in 2011 and 2012. It accounted for the explosive growth in social media conversations over the last year and indexed 2011 volumes accordingly.

The analysis additionally found:
· 33 per cent fewer conversations about stress
· 26 per cent fewer conversations indicating concern
· 14 per cent fewer conversations relating to anger
· 8 per cent more references to being happy with life
· 20 per cent more in expressions of gratitude.

The research further uncovered evidence that people are more satisfied at work, and are taking a keener interest in their personal fitness, than they did a year ago. Eighty-three per cent of posts in which people express love or hate about their jobs now contain expressions of love, compared to 71 per cent in 2011.

With regard to keeping fit, the research found the summer games may be succeeding in its mission to promote fitness among the UK population: 19 per cent more references to going to the gym and 22 per cent more references to considering gym membership than a year ago.

"Our research suggests we are happier and more interested in our health than we were a year ago, and it looks as though London 2012 was, in large part, responsible for the uplift. The big question is, is this ‘happiness bounce’ sustainable? Time will tell," James Withey, Head of Brand Insight at Precise said.

Despite financial concerns, people are finding things to look forward to
The economic downturn's impact on consumer spending power was also reflected in the research. Precise saw 11 per cent fewer conversations about buying things in the last six weeks compared to the same period in 2011, accompanied by a small increase in people complaining about being unable to afford things.

However, there were 14 per cent more comments related to looking forward to an upcoming event compared to the same period last year, and five per cent more conversations mentioning holiday plans.

“It seems that we do not feel any better off financially than we did a year ago, but we are nonetheless happier," Withey commented.

"This bears out the findings of other happiness surveys, in which we see that well-being and wealth do not necessarily go hand-in-hand.

"Despite evidence of constraints on our spending habits, we're still planning holidays. We may be able to afford less but the emphasis seems to have shifted to enjoying what we have. Not only do Britons appear happier and less stressed, there is a feeling that we now have more to look forward to."

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