According to a new study, the sex you’re having, or not having, might be the most important factor when it comes to your overall level of happiness with your life.
The study was performed by Carsten Grimm, with the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, who utilized what he referred to as “experience sampling” to derive a clear picture of what activities had the greatest positive and negative impact on people’s lives.
Grimm used text messaging at random intervals throughout the day to contact the study’s participants, asking them what they had done that day and how those activities made them feel.
According to Grimm, this form of sampling was highly effective, with a 97 percent response rate to his texts, producing what he referred to as “a really rich sample of everyday life to look at.”
“Sex, by contrast, appears to
meet all happiness needs.”
After accumulating his data, Grimm divided the results into three broad categories related to happiness — pleasure (sensory enjoyment), engagement (total absorption) and meaning (being part of something bigger).
Grimm found sex took the lead when it came to happiness-producing activities, taking the top spot in all three of these categories.
Other activities ranked high in more than one category of happiness, but sex was the only activity ranking high in all three.
For example, people found drinking and partying to be pleasurable but not particularly meaningful, while on the flip side, people found studying meaningful but not a lot of fun.
Sex, by contrast, appears to meet all happiness needs, making it a key factor in what Grimm referred to as “the full life.”