Subjective well-being or SWB is a nebulous concept that is essentially trying to get at the idea of happiness in the most direct way humans experience it. Unfortunately, that means it is hard to define and harder to study. But thankfully researchers have created personality profiles to help.
People who score high in the trait novelty-seeking tend to be less happy which surprised me because most people associate novelty seekers with a happy-go-lucky personality. This correlation was stronger in teens maybe because of conflict with adult authority figures.
Reward dependence, the person’s response to potential rewards for certain behaviors is another trait the researchers found that increased subjective well-being. People with reward dependence are more likely to fit in which increases the chances of positive emotion.
The character personality profile with the highest subjective well-being was the creative character which is defined by self-directed, cooperative, and self-transcendance. This is good because many modern therapy practices try to enhance these traits in their clients.
Many people I know feel that positive emotions have less depth than negative ones. They think of all the deep and moving sad songs and literature, but they tend not to feel the same richness with art with a more positive focus. However, self-awareness is a key component of subjective well-being. This is because self-awareness helps us control our emotions and define our goals in life. The self-control and self-awareness traits make up the reliable character profile from the study.