Until quite recently
Psychologists believed that our disposition towards happiness depended entirely on genetics. Just like a central heating thermometer, we all have a set point for happiness and mood, and no matter what we do our sense of wellbeing comes back to same point.
In many ways this is a good thing
Human beings are very adaptable. If we suffer loss or bereavement, most of us, in time, will recover. But there’s another side to the coin. We also adapt to good things. So lottery winners’ life satisfaction often returns to its original level a few years later. This is the ‘set-point’ in action.
In which case you might think..
Surely then there’s nothing we can do about it? But a few years ago the researchers discovered two other factors: circumstances and our own choices. Both of these, it turns out, are also important in determining our sense of wellbeing, but not to equal extents.
But we can definitely say that choices are significant
You can make a difference to your happiness, through such things as: expressing appreciation and gratitude, nurturing relationships and savouring the simple things around us.
The Happiness Course focusses on these and other important dimensions of wellbeing and happiness. Find out more at www.andyjillparnham.com
Which option is most important in determining our happiness
Genetics, circumstances or choices? Choose one of the following options…
OPTION 1: Genetics > Circumstances > Choices
OPTION 2: Genetics > Choices > Circumstances
OPTION 3: Circumstances > Genetics > Choices
OPTION 4: Circumstances > Choices > Genetics
OPTION 5: Choices > Genetics > Circumstances
OPTION 6: Choices > Circumstances > Genetics
All will be revealed next week!