In recent years, happiness has become an increasingly popular topic in the field of psychology. But as many researchers have found, it is a tricky topic to study. Happiness is easily misread, difficult to measure, and often created by counter-intuitive actions.
One researcher at the University of California Riverside, Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky, has made some significant strides towards understanding what makes us happy.
In her book, “The How of Happiness” she creates an interesting and somewhat counter-intuitive guide to understanding what happiness is – and what it isn’t – based on her cognitive research of thousands of individuals.
To start, her research suggests that 50% of our happiness is set based on our genes, 10% is based on life circumstances and 40% is based on intentional decision we make. So while 60% of our happiness is out of our control, 40% is in our control… and yet many of the decision we make do not align with increasing our happiness. And to compound that problem, many of the expectations of society (i.e., societal social norms) push us towards a path that actually decreases happiness. Continue reading “Three Myths of Happiness”