Are you an old grouch? do you harbour thoughts of a pessimistic nature? Do you say a glass is half empty rather than half full?
If this is you and you’re fed up with being accused of being a misery, then take heart according to scientists it’s not your fault. They have discovered a happiness gene.
This particular gene makes you happy or gloomy depending on how long it is. If the gene you have is short then you are more likely to be a misery, less successful, more unhealthy and would you `believe it` (to nick a phrase from the worlds worst grouch Victor Meldrew) die younger.
If you have the long gene then you are more likely to be a pleasant cheery person, this is because the longer gene is more capable of pumping the `I Feel Great` chemical serotonin around your body more efficiently than the shorter one.
Psychologist Dr. Rick Norris said, “Happiness is affected by nature, genes and nurture, experiences.” However, don’t sit back on your laurel leaf and tell everyone around you it’s not your fault.
You can beat your gene (and I don’t mean with a whip) A social psychologist Dr. Sandra Wheatley said:
“We are all given a hand of cards and it is up to you how you deal them. How we chose to think affects how we feel … It’s up to you whether you’re a Victor Meldrew.”
After testing DNA samples of 100 volunteers and tested their responses to highly emotive computer images, it was discovered by Professor Elaine Fox at Essex University’s psychology department those with shorter genes thrived in response to positive images, but previous research shows they can also go under and will be particularly devastated by a traumatic experience and more likely to get depressed, while those with the longer gene were of a more stable nature.
Professor Fox, who led the study, said:
“Those with the long version often fare best in fairly benign conditions. But they might not gain so much from a good experience.
“When times are really bad or really good, those with the highly reactive short genotype either go under or really benefit.”
Her hopes are that these result would help to improve therapy for those individuals who experience depression and trauma by training people to have a more positive outlook.
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Image: Danilo RizzutiFreeDigitalPhotos.net