Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.
A survey of 1,000 Brits by last minute cottage holiday hub, Snaptrip, found that 64% of people who describe themselves as impulsive are ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’, compared to 52% of those who say they are not impulsive.
Matt Fox, CEO of Snaptrip (pictured), said: “We wanted to find out how one element of your personality could affect your overall happiness, and were really surprised to see that spontaneity can have such an impact across the board.
“Of course, there are times when planning and thinking things through is really important, but as people work longer hours and lead busier lives, it’s important that they have some freedom in their social lives. Whether they go for a skydive or book a last minute break, spontaneity clearly has its benefits.”
The poll found that a spontaneous streak has the biggest impact on people’s work lives, compared to relationships, family life and living situation. Those who said they followed their instincts in the workplace are 50% more likely to land a mid-level or senior position, as six out of ten impulsive people fill these roles compared to just four out of ten planners.
Relationships are also happier and more rewarding for impulsive people, with 65% of them saying they are ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’ compared to 56% of non-impulsive people.
On the other hand those who are less impulsive are more likely to own their own home and have more money at their immediate disposal. Almost half (45%) of the planners surveyed could access £5,000 or more immediately without any reliance on a loan or overdraft, compared to 36% of impulsive people.
In respect to when are we at our most impulsive the results show that people carried out the highest number of impulsive activities - from bungee jumping, to booking a last-minute holiday and buying an expensive item they didn’t need - between the ages of 35-44. The cities with the most impulsive people include Belfast, Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle, Leeds, London, Glasgow, Cardiff, Norwich and Bristol.
The survey asked people to reveal the most spontaneous thing they have ever done. Among the revelations was a man who agreed to go on a stag do while buying milk in his pyjamas. He said: “I bumped into some friends on their way to the airport and just carried on with them. I got home three days later.” Another was bored one night so booked onto a month-long volunteering trip in Fiji: “I thought it looked interesting, but you had to apply to be selected so didn’t expect to actually get on the trip.”
Marie Lethbridge, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist at mindhealthltd.co.uk, said: “Spontaneity allows us to be mindful and totally immersed in the activity we’re engaging in, which has been linked to an increase in mental wellbeing and happiness. Often we behave in a rigid, planned and fixed way because of anxieties and worries we have – planning a trip to the last detail, checking and rechecking information etc. By behaving in a spontaneous manner we can test out our negative predictions; often finding them to be inaccurate.
"Instead of worrying about the future or ruminating about the past, acting instinctively allows us to engage fully in what we’re doing at the time, and focus our whole attention on this.”
To see how spontaneous you are you can take a spontaneity quiz at snaptrip.com/c/survey/how-spontaneous-are-you/