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Is the happiness boom making us happy?

Since the late 1990?s there has been an increasing amount of public attention surrounding happiness and happiness boosting techniques. Yet some national surveys show that during this time people have become sadder and more anxious? Is pursuing happiness undermining how we feel? And if so why?

According to an article in the February issue of Psychology Today there are various reasons why pursuing happiness may, paradoxically, undermine our happiness and well-being.  The article suggests that popular notions of happiness are misunderstood; happiness as a concept is confusing and often perceived to be about feeling good all the time. 

What this means is that people become preoccupied with becoming happy and some say that this has come at the cost of sadness ?an important feeling that we?ve tried to banish from our emotional repertoire?.  Also, happiness coping strategies such as looking on the bright side have the potential to make those who are already sad, sadder; for some people this may not be a natural or useful way to deal with things. 

This article assimilates some of the arguments and sheds light on the research and thinking about happiness, and beyond, to find out what leads to a fulfilled life. Most importantly the article emphasises the positive aspects of negativity and why we cannot, and should not try to, remove these useful and vital aspects from human life.  To read the full article click here


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