What's Your Happiness "Set Point"?

Did you know you have a happiness "set point"? I didn't either, til recently. Turns out, researchers have been studying the subject and have found that about 50% of our happiness is genetically-set, and about 50% comes from our environment and experiences.

So, when we reach adulthood, most of us have what could be considered a happiness "set point."

Let's say (on a scale from 0-10) you inherited a happiness factor of 7, but your life experiences have been mostly negative - let's say a 3. Your happiness "set point" is likely to hover around 5.

Researchers have found that, regardless of what happens to you in adulthood, you're likely to come back to your "set point" every time. Death of a loved one? You may sink to a 3, but usually only temporarily - eventually, you'll return to a 5. Win the lottery? Within EIGHT WEEKS, researchers have found, you'll be back to your "set point."

What can you do to increase your "set point"? Turns out, it's pretty hard, but it can be achieved through therapy, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and other methods of centering oneself and learning how to control negative thoughts.

When it comes to conflict, it's helpful to know the other party may have a lower or higher happiness "set point" than you. For couples, knowing it's harder for your partner to cheer-up may be helpful when you think he/she is just a downer.

So, what's YOUR happiness "set point"? It may be worth your while to find out!


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