Choosing to be Happy
A popular greeting card attributes this quote to Henry David Thoreau: “Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”
With all due respect to the author ofÂ Walden, that just isn’t so, according to a growing number of psychologists. You canÂ chooseÂ to be happy, they say. You can chase down that elusive butterfly and get it to sit on your shoulder. How? In part, by simply making the effort to monitor the workings of your mind.
Research has shown that your talent for happiness is, to a large degree, determined by your genes. Psychology professor David T. Lykken, author ofÂ Happiness: Its Nature and Nurture, says that “trying to be happier is like trying to be taller.” We each have a “happiness set point,” he argues, and move away from it only slightly.
And yet, psychologists who study happiness — including Lykken — believe we can pursue happiness. We can do this by thwarting negative emotions such as pessimism, resentment, and anger. And we can foster positive emotions, such as empathy, serenity, and especially gratitude.
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This is a pretty good read that I ran across at WebMD. Â I also found another article titled – “3 Tips for Being Happy” that was also ok. Â I included the links below to both. I believe that happiness is important to fully experience life, no less than love. Â I am not sure if I believe in a happiness gene, but then again, since there are or might be genes that controls depression, a similar gene might control how good or bad / happy or sad one feels toward stimuli in the environment. Â This is a pretty interesting topic.