If owning your home won't make you happy, what will?

Enjoying good health came in at a close second, but surprisingly, in these days of credit crunch, less than 2.5% thought job security made for a happy life. What is more, barely 1% thought owning their own home made them happiest.

Yakult's Little Book of Life survey also found that whilst good health had a greater influence on happiness as people got older, having a lot of money became less important, with less than 8% of over 55s believing that money buys you happiness. More than two thirds of people in the UK describe themselves as currently happy in life, with the happiest of all again being the over 55s, 80% of whom say they are happy.

Over a quarter of people believe that 0-7 years are our happiest years, but given the chance to travel back in time, a third of people would actually choose to re-live the years between18-24.

Life coach Denise Mortimer explained the contradiction. She said: "Whilst childhood might be the happiest, carefree time we can recall, our late teens and early twenties are generally packed with excitement and adventure, it's a rollercoaster time of life frequently providing our first taste of independence. Though these experiences don't always make us happy, they do teach important lessons and help us create meaning in our lives. In addition to this, most people enjoy good health during these years."

For the 55+ group, 43% cite enjoying good health as the main reason for wanting to return to their late teens. With 42% of people saying they currently suffer from stress and anxiety, everyone surveyed admitted to health concerns for the future. Weight topped the list of future health worries, with over 45% of people concerned about their growing girth and over two thirds of people worried about future tendencies to stress and anxiety or depression.

Denise believes that many of these worries could be allayed and future happiness safeguarded by all of us taking control of our physical and mental well being. Denise added: "Taking care of ourselves by simply watching what we put in to our bodies and thinking positively can have a huge impact on our sense of wellbeing at all stages of life. Yakult's Little Book of Life advises us that it's never too early to start. From conception, nutrition dictates how our bodies grow and perform, influencing our internal and external aging. Good health, both physical and mental, is integral to our happiness and we can see from the survey that more than 90% of people already realise that diet and lifestyle can help alleviate stress and reduce the risk of developing debilitating or life limiting illnesses."

Yakult's Little Book of Life tracks some of the health challenges that our bodies face at key life stages, from conception to our senior years. The Little Book of Life is packed with helpful advice from a host of independent and respected nutrition, diet and lifestyle experts: the needs of the pregnant mother and foetus are covered by health writer, Fiona Hunter; Prof Ken Jones, immunologist at Cardiff School of Health Sciences advises on the pros and cons of cleanliness in childhood and its impact on immunology; Louise Hall, Health Manager, Fit for Business offers advice on controlling stress and nutritionist, Sarah Keogh, offers guidance on how to ensure what we eat will protect our bones later in life, to name but a few. The Little Book of Life includes crucial information for taking care of your internal ageing as well as the external at every life stage, ensuring you are well equipped to enjoy the things we all most look forward to, which according to Yakult's survey are spending time with our families, 25% closely followed by travelling, 18%.

To get your copy of Yakult's Little Book of Life and discover how you can help yourself to a better life, whatever your age, log on to www.littlebookoflife.co.uk,