Did you know that “happiness” has been the subject of many scientific studies?
For years it was thought that although you might experience peaks and valleys – depending upon current life events – you would always remain relatively consistent with your original “state of happy.”
However, the results of a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences have determined that this theory may in fact not be correct.
A new and different look at “happiness”
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany conducted a study of almost 150,000 German adults, following their happiness levels for over 25 years. From 1984 to 2008, study participants completed a written annual survey which was used to determine how happy and satisfied they were with their lives.
Surprisingly – and contrary to popular theory – the results indicated that their levels of happiness shifted up to 50%, suggesting that our ability to tap into joy might be more closely related to our environment, life choices, and goals than to our genes.
“In its extreme form, set-point theory was never credible,” Daniel Kahneman, an emeritus professor of psychology at Princeton University and the winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, told LiveScience newsletter. “If it was taken to mean that the only factor that determines happiness or life satisfaction is genetic, so that people always come back to exactly to the same point, this was utterly incredible.”
According to Kahneman, this study suggests that while we all choose our goals, “the goals may be part of personality and thus partially genetic.”
“More studies are needed that track large populations of people after influential changes, like the enactment of new laws,” said Andrew Oswald, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Warwick who also studies happiness. “By comparing people who lived under, say, a new state tax law that affected income to those who lived in a nearby state without the law, researchers could begin to look at happiness in a more experimental way,” he said.
The debate continues...
Whatever side you’re on, the results of this German study are very interesting and provide real food for thought, especially now when we’re all positioning ourselves for a “happy” new year. The study concluded that:
- Rich people are happier, not because of the money, but because they generally have interesting jobs and a lifestyle offering challenge and variety
- Older people are happier which supports the findings of an earlier study with Americans which indicated that the older you are, the happier you tend to be
- Church go-ers are happier. Though it isn’t clear whether it’s due to the religious aspects of their lives or the socialization factor, people who attend church are generally happier than those who don’t
- Family matters. People who enjoy a stable, supportive family life are happier
- Exercise makes people happy
What was also interesting – and rather sad – was the study conclusion that overweight women and underweight men tended to be among the most unhappy people.
Whatever group you find yourself in, we invite you to embrace our web site as a prime resource for great tips, timely information and highly effective natural health solutions.
Our Protein Shake, for example – with its ideal combination of protein, essential fats, and carbs – provides the high-quality nourishment you need on any eating plan.
Our green drink, Greenergy, makes it easy for you to get the recommended number of vegetables necessary for optimal health and fitness.
You might also check out our natural weight gear to help get your body in tip-top shape. And don’t forget Leanergy® , a 100% natural, ephedra-free supplement specifically created to aid fat loss and sculpt a better body.
As we embark upon this brand new year together, please know that we’re here for you. If you’ll allow us, we’re ready to help you reach your energy, fitness, or weight loss goals as you make 2017 your best year yet.