Today is International Day of Happiness 2015 so we thought we'd look at the psychology of happiness. Happiness is a complex and changing state, however there are a number of factors that have been shown to improve our chances of being happy.
Although 50% of our happiness comes from external sources, such as personal connections with others, our health and our working lives, research conducted at the University of Edinburgh and Queensland Institute suggests that happiness is partly determined by our personalities. And they found that this is largely hereditary. The researchers discovered that people who are sociable, conscientious and do not excessively worry tend to be happier.
If it's in my genes, can I ever be happy?
The good news is that while half of our happiness is linked to our genes, we can still experience happiness.
Research by Lyubomirsky suggests that we have the ability to influence 40% of our happiness, with the remaining 10% relating to our life circumstances, so there is still hope whether happiness is in your genes or not.
The key to happiness
The following six variables have been linked to greater happiness:
- Being optimistic
- Being outgoing/extrovert
- Having positive self-esteem
- Feeling in control of your life
- Having positive relationships in your life
- Having a purpose to life