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permanent happiness is a myth: why you shouldn’t want to always be happy

by:Newland     2019-10-26
The article was originally published in the dialogue.
In his 1990 s, a psychologist named Martin Seligman led the positive psychology movement, which placed the study of human happiness directly in psychological research and theory.
It continues a trend of humanistic and existential psychology that began in the 1960 s, which emphasizes the potential of human being and the creative meaning in life.
Thousands of research and hundreds of books have been published since then with the aim of increasing health
Help people live a more satisfying life.
So why are we not happier
It is reported that the happiness index has been stagnant for more than 40 years, and this effort to improve happiness may be a futile attempt because we may be programmed to be dissatisfied most of the time.
Part of the problem is that happiness is more than just one thing.
Jennifer Hecht is a philosopher who studies the history of happiness.
In her book \"The Myth of happiness\", Hecht suggested that we all experienced different types of happiness, but these happiness are not necessarily complementary.
Some types of happiness may even conflict with each other.
In other words, having too much of one happiness may weaken our ability to have enough of another --
Therefore, it is impossible for us to have all kinds of happiness at the same time.
For example, a satisfying life based on a successful career and a good marriage is something that has been going on for a long time.
This requires a lot of work, and often requires avoiding hedonistic fun like party or stimulus --of-the-moment trips.
It also means that you can\'t spend another pleasant lazy day with your good friends.
On the other hand, keeping your nose on the grindstone requires you to reduce the many pleasures of your life.
The days of relaxation and friendship may fall by the wayside.
As happiness increases in one area of life, happiness tends to decrease in another.
A beautiful past, a future full of potential, the way our brains deal with happiness experiences, further confuses this dilemma.
Consider the following example, for example.
We all use \"when . . . . . . \" The phrase begins a sentence. (
I go to college, fall in love, have children and so on. ).
Similarly, we often hear older people use \"when . . . . . . \" This sentence begins with a sentence and think about it. You rarely hear anyone say, \"isn\'t it good now ? \", Our past and future are not always better than the present.
But we still think this is the case.
These are the bricks that block the harsh realities in our minds about past and future happiness.
The whole religion was built from them.
Whatever we say is the Eden of our ancestors.
When things are great! )
Or in heaven, Valhalla, Jana, or waikunta, eternal happiness is always the carrot that shakes from the end of the sacred stick.
There is evidence that our brains work like this.
Most of us have optimistic bias, which is a tendency to think that our future will be better than it is now.
In order to show this phenomenon to my class, at the beginning of the new semester, I will tell my students the average scores of all the students in my class in the past three years.
I then asked them to report anonymously the score they expected to get.
The presentation is like a charm: given the evidence at hand, there is no failure, and the expected score is much higher than what one reasonably expects.
We believe, however.
Cognitive psychologists have also discovered the so-called Pollyanna principle.
This means that we process, rehearse, and remember pleasant messages from the past, not unpleasant ones. (
An exception to this situation occurs in depressed people who often focus on past failures and disappointment. )
For most of us, however, the reason the good past looks so good is that we focus on happy things and tend to forget about the day --to-
Unpleasant day. Self-
These illusions about the past and the future may be an adaptive part of human psychology, with innocent self.
Deception actually enables us to continue our efforts.
If our past is great and our future will be better, then we can come out from the past.
Or at least ordinary. present.
All of this tells us something about the fleeting nature of happiness.
Emotional researchers have long known something called a happy treadmill.
In order to achieve a goal, we work very hard and look forward to the happiness it brings.
Unfortunately, after a short fix, we quickly returned to our baseline in a normal wayof-
What we can almost be sure of is that we start chasing the next thing. and finally —make us happy.
My students hate to hear the news very much;
When I suggest that no matter how happy they are now, they will be frustrated because they may be happy in 20 years. (
Next time, maybe I will reassure them that they will remember to be happy in college in the future! )
Nevertheless, research on lottery winners and others at the top of the game
Those who seem to have everything
Often pour cold water on our dreams. Dreams of getting what we really want will change our lives and make us happier.
These studies found that positive events such as winning millions of dollars and unfortunate events such as paralysis in accidents do not significantly affect a person\'s long-term life.
The time limit for happiness.
Assistant professors and lawyers who dream of gaining tenure often find themselves wondering why they are in such a hurry.
After finally publishing a book, I realized how quickly my attitude developed from \"I am a book writer\", which frustrated me!
\"I am a person who wrote only one book.
But at least from an evolutionary point of view, this should be the case.
Discontent with the present and dreams of the future are the reasons for keeping us motivated, and a vague memory of the warmth of the past convinced us that the feelings we seek can be possessed.
In fact, eternal happiness will completely destroy our will to accomplish anything;
Of our earliest ancestors, those who were fully satisfied may have been left in the dust.
This should not be frustrating;
On the contrary.
Recognize the existence of happiness
This is a pleasant visitor and has never been more than welcome to it-
It may help us appreciate it more when it arrives.
In addition, it is impossible to have happiness in all aspects of life that can help you enjoy the happiness that touched you.
Recognizing that no one \"has everything\" can reduce the one thing psychologists know to hinder happiness: jealousy.
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