Bonus Q&A: What if I'm just not a happy person?
What if I'm just not a happy person?
Dee in Oregon asks, "I’d like to try the challenge. I heard the podcast yesterday, and it was all great information. But I really think I’m just not a happy person. It seems to come so naturally for you. What do I do?" Dee, maybe this will help...
It is believed genes determine a set range of happiness as opposed to a set point. This means that every person has the ability to move up or down within their range. It's believed approximately 40% of happiness is determined by genes,and 10-20% is determined by life circumstances. This leaves 40-50% of happiness shaped individual behavior...our thoughts and actions. This is why happiness can be thought of as a process, practice, and choice.
Good news: just ‘the pursuit of happiness’ can actually make you happier! Recent research in positive psychology reveals that those who set actively try to be happier in two different studies reported the highest level of positive moods. Just an intention to become happier can be enough to increase happiness.
This is similar to Sean Achor's idea of happiness, borrowed from the Greek definition: "the joy one feels striving for one's potential."
Continue your pursuit of happiness!
Dan Buettner, "Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way"
Yuna L. Ferguson, Kennon M. Sheldon, Trying to be happier really can work: Two experimental studies. The Journal of Positive Psychology.
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