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  • The Happiness Set Point

    We are a more relaxed society and whatever we want is there for the taking. Technology has made a difference, and entertainment is big these days. There is something for everyone.  But, if the power goes out, will we still be happy?

     

    Years ago, depending on where you lived, there were 3 channels to watch. Prior to that, there was the radio. Families would gather around the radio after dinner.  We are told that in 1938, panic was brought to millions of Americans when “War of the Worlds” written by H.G. Welles was broadcast on the radio.  During the show, the CBS Network announced that the world had been invaded by Martians.  Imagine the fear until it proven to be “just a radio program”.  We are programmed to listen to news warnings.  That evening, a happy time of listening to the radio turned into panic and unhappiness.

     

    Finding happiness is not uniquely American. A study was done of 10,000 participants from different countries. It was found that happiness was more important to most people than other personal outcomes such as being wealthy.  Happiness does not just feel good, it is good for you. It leads to higher earnings and better immune system function. It also boosts creativity.

     

    Most people describe happiness as a sense of peace or contentedness. Happiness is mainly emotional and is connected to our feelings, but it has a natural set point. Our genetic baggage and personality play a role. Positive events are important, but we tend to swing back to our natural state.

     

    Having trouble staying happy?  Sometimes we need some tools to keep our “happiness set point” on track.  A counselor can offer relief during stressful times.  Occasional sadness happens, but if it lasts for weeks and months, visit a professional.