Happiness: Genetic or Your Choice?

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

Perhaps you would agree that happiness is a choice. After all, a state of happiness is really just a reflection of your state of mind. If you choose to be happy, no doubt you will feel happy.

If you believe that happiness to be within your grasp, it probably will be. The wonderful thing about cultivating happiness is that it really can be within your control.You can choose how you respond to a hectic day, for example. Perhaps you are rushing around and feeling more and more frazzled. Now, you can choose to stop at some point. For 10 minutes, you can choose to rest, to meditate, or to allow some space for something positive to enter your mind. A moment of happiness chosen in the middle of a very busy, perhaps frustrating day.

Choosing happiness when dealing with illness, however, might not be so easily accomplished. When our bodies are tired, hurting, and sick we can lose sight of any happy thoughts. The world might look a little grim. But if you look, if you take the time to find some happiness, you will undoubtedly find what you are looking for. Perhaps it is the love of a friend or partner that makes you feel happy, or walking or looking out at a treasured garden when the flowers are in bloom. This ability to find happiness can seem to come more easily to some. There are certain people that seem to find a place of happiness with less struggle than others. It can be more difficult, for example, to find happiness if childhood experiences have been negative. It can be more difficult also, when we forget that we actually have the power to create happiness in our lives.

Of course there’s another theory about why some seem more able to be happy in any given circumstance than others. Perhaps happiness is genetic.

British researchers are suggesting that the right genetic mix may be the key to a lifetime of happiness. The researchers studied 973 twins. Personality types and information regarding the participants’ levels of happiness were collected. What they discovered was that those who were genetically predisposed towards being extroverted, emotionally stable, and conscientious were more likely to
be happy.

The researchers explained it this way. When you tend to be outgoing, calm and reliable, you have what’s called an “affective reserve.” That means that you have your own inner resources available that can continuously help you to reach a state of happiness.

Of course, even if you don’t think your personality is particularly calm, outgoing or reliable, that doesn’t mean you can’t be happy. All it takes is a little practice. Remember to be social. That doesn’t mean you need 25 friends. Two or three good ones can be enough. And keep active.

Work towards those things that you are really interested in. And don’t forget to give yourself credit for all the things that are working in your life and feel good about them.

Remember that, despite the research about genetics and happiness, relationships, physical health, and career can have a huge impact on your ability to feel happy.