But our mood largely governs our state of ‘wellness’ which is genetically predetermined. Emotions are the variable that can complement or overwhelm the stableness of our mood.
An individual who is unable to think positively is affected by depression; a psychopathological condition requiring medical intervention – no amount of attitude adjustment will make such people perpetually happy. In fact, to be of the latter disposition may also be a sign of mental dysfunction.
Happiness is always in a state of flux and may have close to zero impact in regards to longevity. For instance, a study followed some 720,000 women (Lancet, 2015) and found that death befell itself in equal proportions upon those who registered themselves as happy or sad. Thus, there appears to be little health benefit in being happy.
As well, euphoric happiness seems to be subject to erosion. Take for example marriage. The belief that the level of happiness one experiences on their wedding day will continue unabated – however, studies have shown that after a year the level of happiness returns to ‘normal’.
It is also contended that the mere giving of thanks can have a remarkable impact on one’s well-being. But the act of giving gratitude may position an individual to feel they owe that person; that you are obligated to pay them back. Suddenly, one has been emotionally engineered to behave in a manner where some other person’s state of happiness becomes paramount.
So what is the secret to happiness? Adaptability.