Are your beliefs about happiness ruining your happiness?

Are your beliefs about happiness ruining your happiness?

via Psychology Today by Susan Krauss Whitbourne

You’re having a wonderful day and so far everything seems to be going your way. People are being unduly nice to you, the weather is lovely, and even your bank account seems pleased with you. In the back of your mind, though, is there a small, nagging voice insisting that you knock on wood before your good luck ends? Do you think the other shoe is about to drop and you’ll soon hear some terrible news?

In a new study, Keimyung University’s (South Korea) Mohsen Joshanloo (2018) focused on the “fragility of happiness,” or this belief that your good luck is too good to last. The concept of happiness fragility follows directly from the state in which you fear being happy, which Joshanloo defines as “an aversion to the experience and/or expression of happiness due to the belief that happiness may cause bad things to happen” (p. 115). Fragility, in turn, refers to the view that “happiness is fleeting and may easily turn into less favorable states” (p. 115). Who knew that happiness could actually be aversive?

Not everyone fears happiness, but those who do tend to derive less pleasure from life, as you can imagine. According to Joshanloo, the belief that happiness is fragile is more likely to plague people who fit the definition of “insecurely attached.” These individuals have carried with them a lifelong inability to form close relationships with the confidence that their trust in others will be returned. The insecurely attached may be of the “avoidant” variety, in which they steer clear of relationships altogether, or they may be of the “anxious” variety, in which they cling nervously to partners for fear of being abandoned. Joshanloo’s study was the first to investigate whether people with these long-standing patterns of insecurity would find themselves unable to enjoy moments of happiness without fear.

The 316 undergraduate participants in Joshanloo’s study completed measures of subjective well-being (high life satisfaction and high positive affect), overall life satisfaction, fear of happiness, and the fragility of happiness scale. You can rate yourself on your own beliefs in the fragility of happiness by asking yourself these questions, based on Joshanloo et al.’s earlier work (2015)…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE