I love the Beatles as much as the next guy; maybe even more. But current research clearly demonstrates that there is quite a bit more to Happiness than a ‘warm gun.’

(For those of you who may not be up on your Beatle trivia, I’m referring to a song, written by John Lennon, off their eponymous double-disc album “The Beatles,” also known as “The White Album.”)

Attitude and perspective are major players in people’s lives, but many times it is way too easy to ignore our hard-wiring, our genetic make-up. It seems the happiness-DNA connection hasn’t gotten much of a voice, but in their article “Genetic Influences on Psychological Well-Being: A Nationally Representative Twin Study” that appeared in April 2013’s Journal of Personality, researchers Thomas M. Olino, C. Emily Durbin, Daniel N. Klein, Elizabeth P. Hayden and Margaret W. Dyson found that up to 50 percent of our happiness could be linked to the way we are ‘hard-wired.’

What makes happiness really difficult to pin down even through research is how subjective it is, but researchers are far from throwing in the towel.

I’ve found some new and ‘quirky’ leads on happiness and for some reason they haven’t been given top billing. Being that I live in a part of the world where we still have two full months of winter ahead of us and more night time temps are promising to reached below zero again, I for one, can use as much help and direction from non-addictive pick-me-ups as I can get.

Here are five pieces of information about happiness I was not aware of, that I hope warm a cockle or two of your heart as well:

• A Degree of Happiness – 57.02 degrees Fahrenheit
According to a study out of Osaka University in Japan, the correlation between a person’s environmental temperature and happiness was investigated. The winner, not the mild temps of tropical islands as once thought, but a milder, balmy 57.02 degrees was found to produce the highest number of happy people. I personally still have quite a way to go, but the good news is that once we get through this artic freeze, its not as far away from 57.02 as say 70 or 75.

• Happy Music for our Happy Feet -
Not only does listening to ‘happy’ music help elevate our mood, it also stimulates what scientists refer to as the “reward” part of the brain. I know we are being a bit subjective here when we say ‘happy’ music, but that goes with the turf. Lyrics and combinations of sounds are so varied this is likely to remain quite subjective. What is no longer subjective is the scientific backing piling up in favor of singing a happy song to brighten your day.

• The Nose Knows -
Dr. Jeannette Haviland-Jones, a professor of psychology at Rutgers University in New Jersey, determined that there is a connection between happiness and floral scented odors. New, desirable fragrances are available for the home, the office, in hand soaps, even for the car so just for the asking, we can sniff a little more happiness into our lives.

• Yes … Master -
Remember that saying about being a ‘Jack of all trades but master of none?’ Well, according to a 2009 study, Jack would not have been a very happy boy. Although there is a certain amount of stress associated with pushing oneself to master an activity, the long term benefit of knowing we really “got this”(whatever the activity,) leads to feelings of happiness. So, dig in, become an expert or at least really good at an activity of your choosing, and you’ll find yourself not only accomplished, but happier too.

* Giving vs. Receiving -
Its true…its true! A 2012 study confirms that both mean and women feel happier after purchasing something for someone else than when they buy something for themselves. There isn’t much available on application of this principle of happiness yet, but I can’t wait to find out what scientists are going to determine lies between the reason for the increased level of happiness in givers as opposed to ‘givees’.

There are other new findings about happiness popping up through studies all the time. And without a doubt, the correlations between happiness (and other internal moods and emotions) and environmental stimuli (external factors) will grow as far as researcher’s imaginations can take them.

Humans may be simple on some level, but extremely unique and individualized on others. We are a combination of our hard-wiring (genetics or nature) and our environment (nurture). The discussion will continue through the ages. But the more we do discuss it, the more we have to say about our own happiness.

Whatever the outcome of the study being conducted, we are human…we are made up of both, internal and external factors in various combinations. And there are many things we can do to improve our lives, make ourselves more of the people we want to become and reach our goals and fullest potentials.

The key to it all may found when we live what is known by millions as the Serenity Prayer. We ask for courage to change what we can (external, nurture) acceptance for who we are and for what is (internal, nature) and finally, the ability and wisdom to be to determine the difference so we can avoid the frustration and failures that come from trying to change things that are hard-wired and pretty much going to remain just the way they are.

Author's Bio: 

Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!