Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


Are You Too Happy?

posted by Linda Mintle

Happiness is a good thing, right?

Sometimes, not so much! A Yale researcher compares too much happiness to too much food. When you overdo it, problems erupt! Too much happiness makes you a high risk taker. And with high risk can come excessive alcohol  and drug use, binge eating and ignoring threats.

Happiness researcher Edward Diener looked at lots of people over the years who reported being very happy. He and his colleagues found these people to have lower incomes and drop out of school earlier than those who were moderately happy in their younger years. Dierner thinks that when people don’t experience sadness or anxiety often, they aren’t motivated to do better. The emotion of feeling sad actually helps us think in more systematic ways.

In other studies, very happy people have been shown to engage in stereotypic thinking. And trying to make yourself happy doesn’t seem to work either. Psychologist Iris Mauss tells us the more you pursue happiness, the more disappointed you could be.

The bottom line here is don’t make pursuing happiness your life goal all the time. A balance of three positive emotions for every one is what is needed according to those studying happiness.

So don’t worry, be happy, at least in moderation!



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