Friday, March 7, 2008
The latest research on happiness shows that there is a genetic component. This seems like I've heard this before, but maybe I'm wrong. Anyway, in this study, British and Australian researchers looked at close to 1,000 identical and non-identical twins. Their research showed about half was due to genetics, while the other fifty percent was due to external factors like career, health, and relationships. The people who tended to be happier were those who were stable, active, conscientious, sociable, and hardworking.
I think this is an interesting field of research and can help with depression and what makes people happy or unhappy, however, it leaves me personally distraught. Since I have no history of my background, there's no way of knowing whether my happiness or the opposite depression is genetic for me.
One friend of mine has told me in the ten or so years she's known me she's never known me to be truly "happy." Even when my dad asks me if I am happy, I never know what to say. I want to be able to say YES, I am happy and mean it. But sometimes I wonder too if I'm afraid of being truly happy? Maybe it's too different for me? Or maybe I'm afraid that even in a vanish, it'll be gone, disappear, like it never existed.
However, even with all that, I think I still search for it. Perhaps I look for it too much externally. But what if I get all the external factors right, and yet still am unhappy? What if I'll never really be happy and just remain in this constant influx state? It just leaves me pondering so much. Maybe my happiness is rooted in letting go, being free, being accepting, valuing who I am.
So for now, I tread on in hopes of one day finding it.