My answer is—absolutely. I absolutely feel happier today than I did a year ago.
But, I have to admit, I recently read about a study that showed that people who participate in psychotherapy, or in programs to lose weight or to stop smoking, often claim a lot of benefit—even though on average they improve only modestly. Apparently when people spend a lot of time, money, and energy on a program, they conclude that they’ve seen a lot of improvement. Memory is a tricky thing.
This may also be related to the “placebo effect”—that is, treatment sometimes works because people expect it will work.
After I read about that study, I thought, “Well, maybe I haven’t had as big a boost in happiness as I think I have.”
When I consider my three prongs of happiness–feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right–I score higher, lower, and higher. So that seems to prove that I am happier, in some sort of scientific way.
But then I realized: even if I just think I’m happier, isn’t that enough to mean that I am happer? Even apart from the objective changes that make my life “better” whether or not they bring me happiness day to day—weight-training, tidier apartment, less nagging and yelling, etc.