Around my other tasks, I watched a documentary today about being Happy. Ironically, it was sort of depressing, because some of the examples they used of people bouncing back from adversity werea bit grueling to sit through.
I took away a few points that intrigued me. Dopamime is a major part of feeling happy. Most people have a certain amount of dopamine receptors in their brains, and as they hit their teens, that number begins to decline. But possibly that works on a "use it or lose it" basis, similar to exercising the physical body. So practicing happiness increases the ability to feel happy. In fact, physical exercise may help preserve the ability to feel happy as well, by increasing brain function.
Also, adversity makes many people actually feel happier than they did before. That's true for me, I know.
And once basic needs are met, even great increases in money only increase happiness slightly or not at all. Instead happiness is about family, friends, and social connections.
I liked what one guy said about helping others: "My life is a loan from God. I want to pay it back, with interest."