Recent research has shown that only 10% of our happiness is due to our external circumstances. A full 90% is based on our inner environment. 50% of our happiness level comes from our genes and 40% comes from intentional activities like self-reflection, mindfulness, and gratitude.
Forgiveness is Physical
Practicing forgiveness doesn’t only benefit the person we forgive, recent research shows that it has tangible physical and emotional benefits for ourselves as well.
Generosity Increases Happiness
For our happiness, how we spend our money is as important, if not more important, than the amount of money that we make. Giving to others releases endorphins, activating the parts of our brains that are associated trust, pleasure, and social connection. Being altruistic and spending money on others leads to higher levels of happiness.
Gratitude Promotes Well-Being
Positive psychology has concluded that counting our blessings has a measurably positive effect on our well-being. It is as simple as writing down three things you are grateful for every day for three weeks
Positivity Pays Off
If we can become more positive in the present, we can get our brains to work more successfully and tap into the happiness advantage. Science has shown that we are significantly more productive when positive. When we feel positive our intelligence, creativity, and energy levels rise. How? Dopamine, which floods the brain when we are positive, not only makes us happier, but also activates all of the learning centers of our brains. In order to have success and happiness in our lives, we must stop thinking that happiness is dependent on success, and realize the success is aided by happiness.
Happiness is Contagious
Happiness is collective. Our happiness depends on the happiness of those we are connected to. Relatedly, science shows that through practicing happiness, we make those we come into contact with happier. This extends to the 3rd degree of contact (a friend of a friend of a friend). Finding happiness is not a selfish pursuit, it is actually doing a favor to those around us.
For the full report see the Project Happiness website: