Psychology Professor William Fleeson of Wake Forest University did a study in 2012 which had similar results. He found that in the US introverts experience greater levels of happiness when they engage in extroverted behaviors, such as smiling at a passer by or calling an old girlfriend.
This does not seem to be a big surprise as people tend to “grow” when they get out of their comfort zones. So, reaching beyond what you would normally do tends to make you feel good and opens new doors of possibility.
Non-Western countries studied included: Venezuela, China, Philippines, and Japan. They used a “Big Five” personality trait survey and found that everyone reported more positive emotions in daily situations where they felt or acted more extroverted. So, what one person does to be extroverted may be much more mild than another it seems. They just need to feel that they are acting extroverted. So it’s relevant to that person and their personality.
Even more interesting was a second finding that showed people who felt more extroverted, open to experience and emotionally stable when they could choose their behavior, rather than being constrained by external pressures.
Everyone wants to be happy. It’s a valuable thing and we can find tons of books on how to do so. These studies are always interesting but seem to reinforce what we already know deep down but for one reason or another may suppress. Happiness helps people live longer, feel better, deal with less stress. “Happiness” is a powerful tool for the human psyche and it’s a state of mind that we tend to choose each day. You can let things bother you and get angry or you can be scared to talk that pretty girl, or you can choose to do the opposite. The mind is powerful and what we think is known to impact every cell in our body. Sometimes it’s hard to break a pattern but once you do and you have that perspective, your life can change.