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.
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