Would you say you were happy?
What defines ‘happiness’ for you?
Is it paying off the mortgage, having your children well and fulfilled, working hard at school or in their chosen careers? Is it being successful? In your marriage, partnership, home life, business life? Do you want more? More money, more business, more time to do stuff you love (like sitting in the sun) rather than living in a cold climate?

They say that you should choose carefully when considering a partner, whether to go to the cinema, restaurant and how you look after your physical well-being. These choices may have a significant effect on your overall life fulfilment. That's according to a study that defies the theory that life happiness is mainly predetermined by your genetic code.

The broadly acknowledged "set-point" hypothesis of happiness states that a person's long-term happiness tends to be steady because it is reliant mainly on genetic causes. The idea is based partly on studies that show identical twins have more similar levels of life contentment than non identical twins. This implies that although your level of happiness may sporadically be thrown off by major life events, it will always return to a main set level within 2 years.

Bruce Headey at the University of Melbourne in Australia wanted to discover if people really are pre destined for a certain amount of happiness and his team queried people in Germany about their lifestyles, careers and social and religious activities. The survey was first completed by 3000 people a year, and that rose to 60,000 per year by the end of the 25-year study.

They found that evident changes in lifestyle resulted in sizeable long-term changes in reported life fulfilment, as opposed to causing the momentary changes in happiness that set-point theory had suggested.

One of the greatest influences on a person's happiness was their partner's amount of neuroticism. Those that had partners who scored greatly on tests for neuroticism were more prone to be unhappy – and shown to stay unhappy for as long as the relationship existed.

Family values and altruism also predisposed lasting happiness. Those whose yearly survey responses altered to place a higher priority on altruistic habits and family goals were rewarded with a long-term increase in life fulfilment. Those who had a priority of career and material success, experienced a corresponding long-term decline in happiness.

The pursuit of happiness was also helped in having strong religious or spiritual convictions. "People who attend church regularly seem to be happier than people who are not religious," says Headey.

A person's body weight was another factor for long-term happiness, notably for women. Underweight men scored slightly lower than those with healthy weights, while women stated being considerably less happy when they were obese. Being overweight seemed to have no effect on men's happiness.

Robert Cummins at Deakin University in Burwood, Australia, notes that changes in happiness reported by Headey's team could be influenced by individuals falling into or recovering from depression.

The group advises its findings may be useful to other populations, having found comparable patterns, as yet unpublished, in the UK and Australia.

How is your pursuit of happiness? If you would like any help with issues,
Email me at admin@theawarenesszone.co.uk

Author's Bio: 

I've been on my own personal development journey for many years, discovering, learning and studying with some of the very best experts in their fields.
I’ve always worked in a people environment helping and advising so it seemed a natural progression for me to move from that to becoming a personal development coach.
I believe very much that unless you re-programme your negative beliefs and thoughts you'll never 'move on' and that could be with relationships, weight loss, health, career, money.
Using the very powerful and effective processes of EFT, NLP, Hypnosis, and Theta Healing, I motivate and steer people toward living the lives they want rather than what they 'should' or been told to. This gives them the opportunity to truly live the life they deserve.
I believe that what we put out there we get back and the only way to improve our lives is by ‘reprogramming’ our mindset.
The 3 greatest internal blocks people have are fear, self doubt and procrastination. When we release those we can be, do, have whatever it is we truly desire.
Like a computer when the 'hardware' isn't congruent with the 'software' no advancement can be made when we are out of sync; and it's the same with our brains. If we say one thing – and believe in our subconscious something totally, different we’ll never make the changes we think we want. Our thoughts and beliefs are what makes us tick so whatever the issue whether it’s relationships, work/career, money, self esteem, confidence; I help people look at what is holding them back and help them release those ties enabling them to go forward with whatever it is they desire. . But it can be a very painful process, the letting go, and people have to be ready and willing to make the changes. Affirmations are wonderful tools but useless without that one major ingredient – Action!
Once you take the Action, are consistent and make the commitment – YOU make it happen
With Persistence plus Confidence YOU equal Success
My greatest joy is seeing the transformation when someone releases their blocks and moves forward.