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Count your blessings, but forget lady luck if you want to be happy: research

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Those who believe in fate are more prone to anxiety and neuroticism, new research has found.

A team from the University of Bath found that people who believe in the concept of “luck” as a random external phenomenon that affects their lives often have high levels of pessimism and negativity.

But on the other hand, the research found that people who consider themselves lucky in terms of their personal circumstances are more likely to describe themselves as happy.

The findings undermine the term “carefree,” the researchers say.

On paper The Carefree? The believers concluded: “Taken together, these findings could support a more precise, if less elegant, aphorism that, generally speaking: Although the lucky are not happy, those who think they are lucky are.”

The research, published in the January 2022 issue of Current Psychology, was based on a survey of 844 ethnic Chinese students at an English-speaking university in Hong Kong.

They were asked questions such as: “Some people are generally very happy. They enjoy life no matter what is going on, making the most of everything. To what extent does this characterization describe you?

The paper said that belief in luck was positively correlated with a range of irrational beliefs and negative traits such as “awful,” a tendency to overestimate the seriousness of events.

It is also related to “problem avoidance,” a coping strategy in which people try to avoid stressful situations rather than engage with and overcome them.

Professor Edmund Thompson, from the University of Bath School of Management, who led the team of international researchers, said: “Those who believe irrationally in luck as an agent phenomenon would seem to do so because they are by disposition more neurotic, pessimistic and negative. “. .

“These are personality traits long associated with lower levels of life satisfaction, well-being and happiness.”

He continued: “However, those who think they are lucky because things have gone well for them, often entirely by accident and not by purpose, generally believe this because they have a set of characteristics that predispose them to objectivity, logic, and gratitude. Personality traits were found to be broadly related to higher levels of happiness.”

“When it comes to happiness, the saying that ‘the happy are lucky’ may be wrong, but the expression ‘count your blessings’ seems to be quite correct.”

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