Researcher says 40% of happiness is under personal control

howofhappinesscover.jpgThis morning I caught a brief interview with Sonja Lyubomirsky, a research psychologist, who has studied the science of personal happiness and published her results in the book “The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want.”

The interview on Good Morning America highlighted 3 of the 12 strategies an individual can employ to scientifically achieve happiness:

  • Gratitude
  • Kindness
  • Forgiveness

Interestingly, the excerpt of the book on the GMA website quickly offers the Serenity Prayer – God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference – and asks “how can you know the difference?” The research asserts that 60% of our happiness is determined by things like our genetics, which are obviously out of our personal control, and certain life circumstances. The study identifies some changes in circumstances – such as moving or personal appearance – as ineffective in bringing about anything more than a temporary boost in happiness.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the remaining 9 strategies were also practices that flow from a life of faith – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  As followers of Jesus Christ know, these fruit of the Spirit are as much cultivated as they are a gift; they are a gift of God we can choose to put into practice.  Always available to the believer, putting them into practice does absolutely bear the result of happiness.  I do love it when science and faith collide.

, , , , , ,

No comments yet.

I want to hear your thoughts!

Leave your opinion here. Please be nice. Your Email address will be kept private.