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Health and happiness

Is Happiness In Our Genes?

By Laura November 24, 2016
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Here at Move we are always promoting a healthy and happy life. But what if you just find it that little bit harder to be happy than some of the people around you?  

Modern living would have us believe that we are the masters of our destiny and that happiness is a choice - only you can control how happy a life you live as a result of the choices that you make.

However, what if how happy we are is actually more out of our control then we think? Research has suggested that feelings associated with happiness could actually be predisposed due to our genetics. The study, carried out by The University of California found a particular gene's link to optimism, self-esteem and "mastery," - three critical psychological resources for coping with stress and depression.

This isn't the only study to discover these kind of findings. A 2009 study also suggested that generic factors can account for 40-50% of feelings associated with happiness. The study, conducted on twins, appeared to show that personality traits, such as sociablity, optimism, and how hardworking you are, are especially heritable. 

What does it all mean?

Although these studies go someway in suggesting that some people are genetically predisposed to be "happier" than others, it's important to remember the significance of environmental factors such as upbringing, relationships and friendships are also critical factors in someone's happiness levels. It's always worth remembering that if you're feeling blue, there are always things you can do to pick your mood up, such as exercise and spending time with friends and family - and those are things that truly are in your control. 

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