13 facts about happiness you may find surprising

Current research in the past fifty years has uncovered about some facts about happiness you may find surprising. Here are 13 of our favorites.

  1. Our genetics are responsible for about half of our happiness levels.
  2. External circumstance represents only 10 percent of our happiness.
  3. Our outlook and choices about what to do with our life accounts for 40 percent of our happiness levels. This includes our friendships, work, and community participation.
  4. About twenty minutes of exercise can support our happiness by 10 to 20 percent.
  5. Happiness positively impacts our immune system by up to 50 percent more.
  6. Happy people earn more money than unhappy people.
  7. Men and women are the most depressed at the age of 55. Women are the least happy at the age of 37, men at the age of 42.
  8. Dancing positively impacts happiness. So does money. Those who can afford to have their basic needs covered are happier than those who cannot. That said, after our basic material needs have been met, additional money does not have any impact on our levels of happiness.
  9. Good relationships among single people make us happier and happier people are more likely to retain relationships.
  10. Education and intelligence has little influence on happiness.
  11. Happiness smells. Clinical experiments on body scent indicates changes between when we are stressed or happy, hence happy parents who hug their children release more oxytocin which supports their growing into happier adults.
  12. A very powerful way to increase your short-term feelings of happiness is to engage in random acts of kindness
  13. A good way to support long-term feelings of happiness is to understand your strengths and talents and to work on sharing those parts of yourself with others.
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