The problem with happiness

The problem with happiness

by Todd Kashdan for Psychology Today

Can trying to be happy interfere with creating happiness?

Asked what is the fundamental objective of life, the vast majority of people answer quickly and definitively- happiness. Their lives are organized around trying to be happy. Sounds good, right? Sounds even better when you read about the scientific benefits linked to happiness.Compared to less happy people…

Happy people have stronger, more intimate friendships.
Happy people are more likely to be in satisfying romantic relationships.
Happy people have better immunological functioning. Stab a happy person with an intravenous needle containing an infectious virus (if thats the type of person you are) and they are less likely to get sick.
Happy people sleep better.
Happy people are more creative.
Happy people spend more time helping other people (altruism, generosity).
Happy people are viewed positively by other people whether it is likability, social skills, intelligence, physical attractiveness, confidence, or samurai swordsmanship.
Happy people extract more pleasure and meaning when working, socializing, or playing.

These findings are from cross-sectional, experimental, observational, longitudinal and experience-sampling studies. Thus, we can be confident that the findings are not flukes. And yes, many of these relationships go both ways. For instance, the quantity and quality of sleep affects our happiness and loneliness sucks the marrow out of living. But for now, lets just focus on a central point. Happiness is not just a sign that things are going well, the experience of happiness helps produce positive outcomes.

But there is a not-so-hidden problem. The United States (and many other countries) is obsessed with happiness…

…find out why this is a problem – READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE