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The science of happiness: Learn how to rewire your brain and feel happy

Updated on:2 May 2021, 13:24pm IST
Your happiness and well-being depends on your genes only to an extent. That’s why you can learn how to be happy. Read on to know more.
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Being positive helps! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

There are some people who just seem happier than others, right? Well, that could be because of their genes. Yup, you read that right! As per psychotherapist Susan Zinn of Susan Zinn Therapy in Santa Monica, California, your genes make up an estimated 40% of your ability to be happy. But that gives no reason for others to stay grumpy. Neither does it mean that you can’t be happy, because the good news is we can rewire our brain and learn how to be happy! 

But before we learn how to do that, let’s understand the different types of happiness. 

Satisfaction in life: This one is critical because it’s completely about what you feel towards your past, present and future experiences. It’s all about what goes in your mind. In case you had a traumatic past, it is most likely that you think your future will be the same. But if you don’t, there’s a lot one can do moving forward! 

Satisfaction in daily activities: If you are satisfied with your work, relationships or how you spend your leisure time, you are likely to feel happier. If not, then your emotions are going to be the complete opposite.

A sense of purpose in life: This is all about your goals and aspirations, or what you do to help others. This is again one of the very important aspects of living a happy life! 

Also, listen:

Research suggests that there are several traits like optimism, self-esteem, and other positive qualities that come from our genes. A 2011 study found that a particular kind of gene, 5-HTTLPR ensures higher life satisfaction. 

Another study that was conducted in 2016 formally links happiness to genetics, and found three kinds of genetic variants associated with well-being. 

Here’s how to rewire your brain and be happy

You can learn to be happier and develop some positive traits over time, because you always have a choice. One of the biggest ways to stay happy, say experts, is to stop chasing perfectionism all the time. The focus should be on working towards the goal, and not just success. The journey is equally important as the outcome! 

You can also do these things to be happy: 
  • Volunteer as much as you can: It is said that doing something for others, or helping them, can fill you with positivity and make you happy. So, that’s something you must keep in mind.
  • Move your body: We all know the wonders of exercise not just for your physical health, but also for your mental health. That’s because it releases the  feel-good hormone dopamine.
  • Have a nutritious diet: A healthy diet can have a huge effect on your self-confidence, health, and happiness. As per a 2012 study, it was found that a plant-based diet can improve your mood.

  • Spend time in nature: It is said that spending time amid nature reduces stress, and makes you feel one with yourself.
  • Laugh as much as possible: Those who find humour in the little things are happier than others. That’s why it is great to have a laugh or two every now and then!

So ladies, try and follow these tips, and be happier with time! 

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.