Nice happiness section on the website for the PBS series This Emotional Life, which offers up six things you should know about happiness:
Our “chronic happiness level” is governed by 3 major factors: genetics, life circumstances outside our control and our own activities and practices. Scientists have found that up to 40% of our happiness level depends on our own actions.
When people experience three times as many positive emotions as negative emotions, they flourish and thrive
People who report more positive emotions in young adulthood live longer and healthier lives
People are generally unable to predict how happy or sad they will be following a significant event and for how long
Happiness is contagious: it benefits friends through three degrees of acquaintance, and the effects can last for a year
Having a physical disability is not a predictor of happiness
Also look at the Connecting with Others section: “Connecting with others is the single most important thing we can do for our happiness.” Also discusses how happiness is contagious. (In other words, offload all those friends who are hard-wired to be downers.)
Thanks for the link, Carolyn!