WebMD | By Eric Metcalf, MPH | 2014 Happiness is a serious subject for many researchers these days. Some studies show that you have some control over how happy you feel.
Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor and happiness researcher, writes that your genes decide about 50% of your happiness. Issues in your life that may be hard to change -- like your looks, your health, and your income -- only explain about 10%. That leaves about 40% up to you. It’s something you can control.
"Happiness is much better thought of as a skill or a set of skills that we need to learn and practice," says Christine Carter, PhD, author of Raising Happiness. These skills are like speaking a foreign language: They come easier to some people, but working on them helps you get better at them. "Everybody needs to practice those skills before they can become fluent."