What Determines Happiness?
Why are some people happier than others? Is there a secret sauce to happiness? Here are some factors that help explain the difference in how we experience happiness and a few areas to consider that can increase the happiness levels in your life.
When it comes to happiness and why some people are happier than others, we have to start with our genetic makeup. Fifty percent (50% ) of happiness is genetic. That´s right! It´s in the genes. But that doesn't mean you can´t experience greater happiness if you are on the lower end of the happiness gene pool. It just means that doing the work that leads to more happiness might be a bit more interesting for you.
Ten percent (10%) of happiness is related to life circumstances. This percentage changes depending on the study you are reading. Some studies have that percentage going higher, a few lower.
It turns out, circumstances are only a small percentage of what makes for happiness in our lives.
Because we all have different life circumstances, we will all experience happiness differently. What we should take note of is that we place too much stock on our circumstances as factors for happiness. It turns out, circumstances are only a small percentage of what makes for happiness in our lives.
Here's the interesting part.
The remaining 40% is an area that we have control over. It's where we get to make the decisions that affect the level and consistency of happiness in our lives.
We can either elevate our happiness by what we choose in this 40% range or we can decrease the level of happiness. It's up to us.
This area is influenced by our thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, and habits.
Studies of happiness have discovered certain traits and behaviors consistent among individuals who experience higher levels of happiness. So what do happier people have in common?
Here's a quick list:
Happier people have more meaningful relationships.
They are more grateful and practice gratitude.
They tend to live in the present while being optimistic about the future.
Happy people are more philanthropic.
They savor the pleasures of life (connected to practice of presence).
Happier people are more active.
They share a deep commitment to lifelong goals.
And finally, they practice some form of spirituality.
If you desire to increase the level of happiness in your life, start with one of the areas listed above and expand from there.
Imagine what the world would be like if we were all 40% happier.