Tuesday, 7 August 2012

What do you know about happiness?

Positive psychology is a growing field of study and as such, there is a wealth of research revealing ways to live longer, healthier and happier lives. Here are some interesting findings on happiness.

Happiness has its roots in our genes – although 50% of our happiness is created by external factors such as relationships, health and work, research conducted at the University of Edinburgh and Queensland Institute has found happiness is partly determined by our personality. They also found that personality and happiness are, by and large, hereditary.

People with certain types of personality are happier – using a framework called the Five-Factor Model to rate participants' personalities, the research above also discovered people who are sociable, conscientious and do not excessively worry tend to be happier.

There are six variables that predict happiness – various research has revealed positive self-esteem, perceived sense of control, extroversion, optimism, positive relationships and a purpose to life are all key to happiness.

Money can’t buy us happiness – researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have divulged that respect and admiration from those around us is far more important than money as far as happiness is concerned. Researchers at Warwick University and the University of Minnesota have gone further to state that having money does not necessarily lead to happiness.

We can change 40% of our happiness - research by Lyubomirsky, who developed the Subjective Happiness Scale, has determined that about 50% of our happiness is fixed and 10% is a result of life circumstances. The remaining 40% is within our power and ability to change because our capability for happiness is underdeveloped.

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