How happy are you? If you had to rate your level of happiness on a scale of 1-10, where would you fall? The answers for the elusive search for happiness are endless. For some, happiness lies within their finances, having more money equals happiness. For others, happiness will come when: they get married, have a child, find the perfect house, a great job, or when they win the lottery, the list goes on and on. But according to a PSFK News report on July 23, happiness may be linked to your DNA.
Curious on why some nation’s population appeared to always “top” the global surveys when it came to overall life satisfaction, Dr. Eugenio Proto and Professor Andrew Oswald at the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy, decided to research the genetic makeup of the population in 30 nations, including Denmark, and the Netherlands. Their surprising results included the widely debatable theory that variations in your serotonin transporter genes (the shorter the genes the more prone you may be to depression and certain mood disorders), showed that the population in Denmark and the Netherlands had the “lowest percentage of people with this this short version.”
While your DNA may or may not have a direct effect on your “happiness level,” there are some positive steps you can take starting today (along with some old habits you may need to break), to ensure that your happiness meter is heading in the right direction.
If you find that you compare yourself to others, obsess how you look, follow the crowd, or most importantly, ignore your intuition, you may want to begin to incorporate some or all of the “7 things the world’s happiest people do every day,” courtesy of The Week magazine.
1. Devote a great deal of time to your family and friends
2. Get into the habit of feeling comfortable expressing gratitude for all you have.
3. Be the first to offer a helping hand.
4. Practice being optimistic when envisioning your future.
5. Savor life’s pleasures while living in the present moment.
6. Make physical exercise a daily/weekly part of your life.
7. Commit to lifelong goals and ambitions.
8. Remember that everyone, even the happiest people have their share of emotional “stresses, crises, and tragedies, but the secret lies in your “poise and strength” on coping when faced with a challenge.
Research has shown that much of what you do is on autopilot, and that 40 percent your happiness is a result of your intentional choices and activities; make “happiness” part of your daily routine.
“Happiness is a journey, not a destination; happiness is to be found along the way not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over and it’s too late. The time for happiness is today not tomorrow.” Paul H. Dunn