Australians have used the global financial crisis to appreciate the simple things in life, reporting an increase in their happiness despite a tightening of the purse-strings, a survey said Thursday.
The poll of 1,500 people aged between 18 and 74 found nine percent more women than last year were happy, at 32.9 percent of those surveyed.
The number of happy men increased five percent to 29.5, according to marketing company the Leading Edge.
Both sexes rated rest and relaxation and entertainment as their two greatest sources of happiness, and rated quality time with a partner in the top five.
"This year has turned out to be the year when Australians rediscovered the joy of being alone, of taking time out from the rat race of life and just appreciating the peace and quiet of sitting still, either having a massage, watching TV or surfing the Internet," said Leading Edge client consulting director Seonaid Anderson.
"Rather than put a dampener on our happiness, the global financial crisis caused us to slow down, go out less, spend less -- and find that we actually enjoyed life a little more," she added.
Pets, enjoying great food and wine and a family meal made the top ten happiness factors for both men and women, as well as helping out a friend.
The downturn also caused more people to report saving money as something that made them happy, especially among men, said Anderson.