Happiness had been a long-standing intellectual interest of mine, although the study has not produced a lot of breakthroughs for me. Here’s a fascinating NYT piece on hyperthymia, the condition of being uncommonly happy:
Cheerful despite life’s misfortunes, energetic and productive, they are often the envy of all who know them because they don’t even have to work at it….
So if some people are just born happy and stay happy for no good reason, does this mean that happiness is nothing more than a lucky combination of neurotransmitters?
For most people, no. Circumstance and experience count for a lot, and being happy takes work. But hyperthymic people have it easy: they have won the temperamental sweepstakes and may be hard-wired for happiness.