Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Happiness All in the Genes, According to New Research

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Happiness All in the Genes, According to New Research

Article excerpt

BASIC levels of contentment are largely determined by a C[pounds sterling]happiness geneC[yen] in the brain, research suggests.

People tend to be more or less satisfied with their lives depending on what form of the gene they have.

The 5-HTT gene helps nerve cells recycle the signalling chemical serotonin, which is known to be linked to mood and depression.

It comes in C[pounds sterling]longC[yen] and C[pounds sterling]shortC[yen] versions. Individuals who inherit two copies of the C[pounds sterling]longC[yen] variant, one from each parent, tend to be more content than those with other combinations, the study showed.

The least happy were people born with two versions of the C[pounds sterling]shortC[yen] gene.

Behavioural economist Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, from the London School of Economics and Political Science, who led the research, said: C[pounds sterling]It has long been suspected that this gene plays a role in mental health but this is the first study to show that it is instrumental in shaping our individual happiness levels.

C[pounds sterling]The results of our study suggest a strong link between happiness and this functional variation in the 5-HTT gene. Of course, our well-being isn't determined by this one gene Co other genes and especially experience throughout the course of life will continue to explain the majority of variation in individual happiness.

C[pounds sterling]But this finding helps to explain why we each have a unique baseline level of happiness and why some people tend to be naturally happier than others, and that's in no small part due to our individual genetic make-up. …

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