Can We Train Ourselves to Become Happier?

A combination of science and ancient wisdom says YES. Our happiness level is a result of a complex interaction of genes, behaviors, and what’s going on in our lives at a specific moment in time. And while each of us has a genetic set point for happiness in the way we do for weight, we can offset it, which brings us to the most important takeaway from the scientific research — you’ve got the power to take control of your happiness by choosing your thoughts, behaviors, and actions.

Recent investigation into the types of movements designed to promote positive emotional qualities, such as kindness and mindfulness, suggests that such qualities may be the creation of skills we can learn through training — in the way that practice advances our musical or athletic abilities. Over time, we can build lasting habits that increase our flexibility and improve our happiness levels.

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