What is happiness? Well I could give you a Webster dictionary answer but what's the point in that? Yes, happiness is understood to be the positive emotions that we associate with pleasurable activities but that will look different for each person. So what does happiness mean to you? And what does your DNA have to do with?
Now, happiness isn’t something that can be measured objectively since it is a subjective feeling per definition. However, it can be described as the ability to enjoy the little things in life and be at peace in general. As a rule of thumb, when we feel happy, we are somewhat free of stress, any feelings of heaviness, fear, or sadness. To feel happy is to be grateful and content with what you have and have the energy to live your life fully and with joy. We all experience happy moments just as we go through circumstances that cause struggles and feelings that push happiness aside. Therefore happiness is most often attributed to environmental factors, our mindset, and other factors also affect our overall mental state.
Although life is full of ups and downs, our general happiness may be engraved in your genes. It is well established that depression and anxiety and its risk have a significant genetic component and general happiness could be seen as the opposite of these conditions. Therefore it makes sense that our genes can also dictate our happiness. However, although our genes can help us understand ourselves better and help us to have grace with ourselves, we do not have to fall victim to our genes.
If you are lucky enough to be more inclined to happiness then half your work is done but nobody is fully immune to the dips of life. However, if your genes make you less inclined to be happy, then you will likely have to prioritize nurturing what makes you happy. Regardless of your genetic predisposition towards general happiness, take actions to embrace happiness. Finding happiness is a personal journey but somethings you can try include cultivating positive relationships, practicing gratitude, pursuing meaningful goals, maintaining good physical and mental health and of course creating self-awareness and mindfulness.
Whatever may come between you and your happiness - we all deserve and can have the best of what life offers. Take matters into your control by learning about your defaults. It’s very normal to feel down occasionally, but it doesn’t have to be the norm. We don’t have to fall victim to anything that tries to steal our joy.