What Determines Happiness?

A few years ago, I heard Sonja Lyubomirsky speak. In her talk, she discussed what determines happiness and the concept of set-points.


So, What Determines Happiness?

According to research in her book, the How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky indicates that –

  • 50% of happiness is determined by genetic set-points,
  • 40% by life activities (i.e. our daily behaviour – what we do and how we think / feel), and
  • 10% by life circumstances or situations (i.e. whether we are rich, poor, healthy or unhealthy, beautiful or plain, married or divorced etc.).

And visually, it looks like –

Over to You…

What does this information do for you? Does it inspire you to focus on the things you can control and the things you cannot? If so, you might be interested to note that happy people often –

  • are comfortable expressing gratitude,
  • devote time to nurture their relationships with family and friends,
  • savour life’s pleasures and live mindfully,
  • move their body habitually,
  • know how to cope with life’s stressors, and
  • committed to life-long goals and intentions.


I hope this post has helped you identify what determines happiness! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to write them in the comments section.


If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heartwhy not join our Toolkit?


Reference –

Lyubomirsky, S. (2007). The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want. New York, USA: Penguin Press.

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