The Science Behind Happiness

Happiness positively affects your health and success in life. It is subjective as people’s judgments of their own life satisfaction vary. There are many factors that influence your state of personal happiness, and the explanation behind it may be backed by science.

What is Happiness?

People define happiness differently. For behaviorists, happiness is a cocktail of emotions that occur when things happen positively. For neurologists, happiness when a flood of hormones is released in the brain as some type of reward. For religious groups, happiness indicates the presence of God. It is said that the happiest people in the world happen to live in Australia, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, and Netherlands.

Theories about happiness go back to before the time of Aristotle, and even today, there are several theories on what makes up happiness. Some look onto society level, while some look onto psychological health.


1. Genes and upbringing influence about 50% of personal happiness. Life situations affect about 10% and the remaining 40% is accounted for activities and outlook in life. These include relationships, friendships, career and engagement in the community, sports and hobbies.

2. Feelings can be influenced by the weather. Some studies found that there is a correlation between milder summers and winters and happiness. During the winter months, many experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), mainly because of lack of sunshine that comes with the season.

3. Feeling low? Go for a brisk walk. Exercise has been found to be helpful with depression. In an animal study, exercise was shown to mimic the effects of antidepressants in the brain. It also plays a role in creating new brain cells in the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory.

4. Happier people prefer brighter colors. A 2010 study found that people who were anxious or depressed were more likely to associate their mood with the color gray. So ditch dark clothes and wear some yellow or other lively colors.

5. Happiness is contagious. People around you, including your friends and your family strongly shape your behavior. While you are in charge of your own choices and emotions, there is no wall between you and other people.

Why You Should Be Happy

Even if things are not perfect right now, you will never run out of reasons to be happy. Looking beyond imperfections will help put a smile on your face.

Being happy can improve your health, which is something that affords you in many life’s possibilities. Everyday is a new opportunity to be better than yesterday. Having this mindset increases your self-esteem as well as your happiness. Happiness makes a difference in other people’s lives as well as yours.

Even if your parents do not endow you with happiness genes, you can still control 50% of your personal happiness. For instance, keeping yourself fit and healthy by exercising gives you energy. The more energy you have, the happier you become.

Go for the things that make you happy. Remember that happiness is the key to your health and success in life.

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