Happiness & Epigenetics

Tip of the Morning

Last week Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands published a paper that, for the first time, linked genetics to happiness.

In the study of nearly 300,000 people, the researchers, led by Meike Bartels, found that there was a direct link between genes and happiness.

This is a groundbreaking study. For the first time, researchers were able to determine that happiness is genetic; that your your happiness is predetermined by your genes.

But there’s much more to the story. You see, the research also pointed out that environmental factors can turn happiness or sadness genes on or off. In other words, your environment can turn on or off genes that make you happy or sad. This environmental influence over your genes is known as epigenetics.

Environmental Factors That Make You Happy

  • Associate with Happy People – If your inner circle is made up of happy people, like a virus, they will infect you, turning on your happiness genes and suppressing your sadness genes.
  • Gratitude – Expressing gratitude every day can turn happiness genes on and sadness genes off.
  • Volunteering – Helping others through volunteer work can turn happiness genes on and sadness genes off.
  • Dream-Setting – Pursuing something you are passionate about, something that you love, can turn happiness genes on and sadness genes off.
  • Goal-Setting – Pursuing meaningful goals, goals that help advance your dreams, can turn happiness genes on and sadness genes off.
  • Happy Mentors – Finding a mentor who is happy, upbeat and optimistic, activates your own happiness genes and deactivate your sadness genes.
  • Happy Spouses – When you marry a spouse who is happy, upbeat and optimistic, activates your own happiness genes and deactivates your sadness genes.
  • Happy Boss – Working for a boss who is happy, upbeat and optimistic, activates your own happiness genes and deactivates your sadness genes.
  • Read to Learn – The brain loves to learn. It’s hardwired to learn and rewards you, when you read to learn, with happiness neurotransmitters that turn happiness genes on and sadness genes off.
  • Find a Happy Job – Finding a job that you like or love will turn on your happiness genes and suppress your sadness genes.
  • Reach – Taking on projects or responsibilities that force you to grow as an individual (meaning to learn new things) excites the brain, which then releases happiness neurotransmitters that turn on happiness genes and turn off sadness genes.
  • New Hobbies – The brain likes novelty. When you take up a new hobby or anything new, your brain rewards you by producing happiness neurotransmitters which turn on happiness genes and turn off sadness genes.
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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
 
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