What makes us really happy? Why is happiness often frightening us? And what role do our genes play in this? Luckily researchers are aware of this.
Genetics of Psychological Well-Being
Although it may seem surprising at first, our genes seem to have a much greater impact on our happiness than money or family. Researchers suspect that they define a kind of basic level of life satisfaction, which can then change up or down. In the meantime, numerous studies suggest this direction.
What happens in the brain when we’re happy? Which brain regions, which messengers are involved in our high feelings? All the books have already been written about these questions, they cannot be explained in a few paragraphs in detail. The neurobiology of Happiness is complex – and like most processes in the brain, we have not yet fully understood it. Our reward system plays a central role in our feelings of happiness and the urge to always turn to the very things that really make us happy. It consists of a whole range of brain areas, which communicate dopamine with each other above all through the messenger substance.
Positive Psychology Theory
These brain regions could also play an important role in terms of continuing happiness. For example, studies show that people in whom the ventral striatum and the prefrontal cortex are particularly persistently responsive to positive stimuli are ultimately happier through life. In other words, both areas fire tirelessly even if one presents them with a positive experience after another.
However, it is difficult to picking individual factors and determine their size of influence. Looking at their effects at the societal level, it becomes clear that they sometimes contribute less to our happiness than we have assumed. For example, children are quite a double-edged sword in terms of satisfaction: Surely there are many people who regard their children as the best thing that has ever happened to them in their lives. On the other hand, you can be the source of stress and problems. Overall, according to studies, the happiness difference between parents and childless persons is not particularly great. The impact of young people on life satisfaction also depends on numerous environmental factors such as the financial situation and the reconciliation of family and work.