Health, The Good Life

The How of Happiness

There’s been a lot of research on happiness in the last decade or so. Psychologists found that it is genetically determined – that each one of us has a happiness set point. Now psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky has put all these finding together in her new book The How of Happiness. She demonstrates that this set point determines just 50 % of happiness, while another 10 %  can be attributed to our life circumstances. Her conclusion is that this leaves 40% of our capacity for happiness within our power to change.

“It takes a lot of effort for us to become happier, and we don’t tend to apply the notion of effort to our emotional lives the way that we apply it to everything else in our lives — to perfecting our bodies, raising children, or advancing in our careers. People think that Happiness is something you will find, they have to search for it and then they’ll find it, in the right relationship, or the right job…then they’ll be happy…and it may sound like a cliche, but Happiness isn’t really out there for us to find, its really inside of us.”

She outlines a dozen strategies for building happiness, including practicing gratitude, living in the moment and exercising.

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