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We see pictures of happy people on social media. We watch videos of crazy cat antics that make us laugh. We read and share inspirational quotes. But are some people just born happier than others?
Researchers looking for a "happiness" gene think that traits you are born with are one piece of the puzzle. That means looking at the role of our settings and social bonds to see why some people are happier than others. And if people can become happier.
What Does It Mean to Be Happy? Author Tal Ben-Shahar, who has lectured in psychology at Harvard University, defines happiness as "the overall experience of pleasure and meaning ... a happy person enjoys positive emotions while perceiving his or her life as purposeful."
What if you don’t fit the bill? Is happiness within reach? There is some proof that the brain can change for the better.
Research suggests people with a higher sense of purpose may live longer and experience less sickness. One study found that people who had a sense of enthusiasm, hopefulness and emotional balance also had a reduced chance of heart disease.
What Steps Can You Take? Studies point to these 5 things that make people happier:
What’s your favorite way to get happy? Let us know in the comments!
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