Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happiness has a dark side


ScienceDaily (May 16, 2011)— It seems like everyone wants to be happier and the pursuit of happiness is one of the foundations of American life. But even happiness can have a dark side, according to the authors of a new review article published inPerspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. They say that happiness shouldn't be thought of as a universally good thing, and outline four ways in which this is the case. Indeed, not all types and degrees of happiness are equally good, and even pursuing happiness can make people feel worse.

Trust someone to point it out: Just trying to be happier can make you miserable; you read the self help book, you watch the feel good film, you make an effort to be be more sociable and do 'fun' things, and you end up realising that you aren't as happy as 'the others' and it takes you down again.
What's more the authors of this article point out the down side of happiness; happy people live less. That's right - a shorter happy life or a longer sadder life. If only it was a matter of choice which would you choose? Happy people take more risks, blow their money instead of saving and even experiment with 'brain enhancing' chemicals.

Yet another problem - being too happy means you could be lacking those negative feelings which, while being pretty unpleasant, are an important part of being a well adjusted human being.

So the conclusion is don't spend time worrying about being happy, just get on with living a healthy, sociable life.

Read more here:

28 comments:

  1. Very nice reading, i like scientist point of view.

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  2. Very interesting post! imo everything has it's dark side if you do it excessively or try too hard to pursue it.

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  3. i think it's less about being "too happy" but being in denial of other negative emotions, or stowing away problems you have in your mind instead of coming into terms with it. very interesting post btw!

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  4. Agree with @i.o , there is always a need for "reflective emotions" and recognising your true feelings

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  5. too much worry about being happy and you're well, worried.

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  6. science...it's so hard..but I passed it on my finals hehe

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  7. Yeah i dont try :P All i want is good education and money :D

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  8. This is rather sobering. I guess it's also important to know that happiness is fleeting, if you chase it all the time you will never catch it, and enjoy it for the time that it's around.

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  9. That's the pure truth. Everything on this world has it's bad and good sides, even happiness.

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  10. I took a psych class on "the Science of Happiness."

    There are only three things that are proven to increase happiness:

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    Antidepressants
    Mediatation

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  11. who is that image i recognize the face from somewhere

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  12. Interesting thoughts. I think it is important to have a well-rounded personality. Life just can't be 100% happiness.

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  13. Ack, that's a very pitiable person, that worries when they're 'too happy'. I shouldn't talk though, when things are going too well for me, I start feeling pessimistic about the future.

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  14. Great post. I know alot of people that always seem to be overly happy or overly optimistic and, once I got to know them personally, they were just miserable inside

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  15. Mh I dont care. I try to be as happy as I can and I am : )

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  16. I'm manic depressive so a little happiness goes a long way for me...

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  17. I thought happiness was universal and a good thing, seems i was wrong

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  18. "Pursuit of happiness" it makes it sound like everyone's chasing after it, well we are to an extent but i go about living my life the way i want and im generally happy...suppose i can see how it could be more of a chase for others though :(

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  19. I'll never be happy, but I'm happy with that. PARADOX!

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  20. interesting topic to blog about.. good work though

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  21. well this was interesting but i disagree with it. i think that true happiness is the satisfaction that comes with being okay with the ups and downs. the kind of happiness these people are talking about is more like a manic state, in which case i agree.
    +followed

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