Friday, November 23, 2012

What Are Happiness Set Point Levels?

One of the most fascinating concepts in positive psychology is that of baseline happiness, also referred to as "happiness set point levels."

Either we cultivate happiness to experience joy, or we "think" it away to experience joylessness. No matter what happens in your life, you ultimately come back to this "set point," or "baseline," because of your mental conditioning.

And there's a reason for it. Scientists report that genes have more to do with our happiness than prevously thought. Genes have long been known to influence the kinds of experiences people have, as well as the type of environments that they take comfort in. They also dictate personality and disposition traits.

People who are happy tend to be in a good mood. People who are not happy tend to be in bad moods (i.e., angry, bitter, aggressive, negative, hostile). Moods are always influenced by personal beliefs and how we see the world. Negative moods cause withdrawal and stunt growth. Positive moods help us adapt easier and facilitate growth.

Scientifically, the composition of happiness looks like this: Genetics account for 50% of your happiness (were your parents happy people? Would you say that they were generally in good moods or bad moods?). Your thoughts account for 40% of your happiness (you are what you think, and how you think greatly influences how you feel). External circumstances account for 10% (the key finding here is that it's not the circumstance, per se, but rather how you perceive the circumstance that really makes a difference).

With constant monitoring of your moods, you can change your happiness set point levels - if you are up to the challenge. Watch the video below to find out how.

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