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According to science, this is the goal you don't have to set to be happy in life

According to science, this is the goal you don’t have to set to be happy in life

A new study by an American psychologist suggests that most people who fail to find happiness have one thing in common: they set a goal that should not be pursued…

Is a strong desire for happiness the best way to… never achieve it? Anyway, that’s what emerges from a study he conducted Psychologist Felicia Zarouasfrom the University of California (USA), published in the journal Current opinion in the behavioral sciences.

According to this work, an excessive focus on happiness – or a lack of it – can actually be very counterproductive. People who value happiness the most are less likely to achieve happiness in the short and long termexplains researcher, quote from Psychology Today.

One of the reasons scientists believe that appreciating happiness might have the opposite effect is that it might It leads people to feel more disappointed in times when happiness is within reach. “

In search of happiness

An astonishing irony that Zeer attempted to demonstrate by citing a study in which researchers showed one group of participants fake content allegedly from a media outlet focused on happiness, while another group of volunteers viewed other content unrelated to happiness.

This study revealed that people who rated happiness by consuming this content turned out to be less happy than those in the other group. When examining what explains this, the researchers found that lower levels of happiness were explained by their feeling more disappointed while watching the clip.The researcher explains.

In other words, being too concerned with our sense of happiness causes us to focus on the areas that still prevent us from achieving it, to a point that may be counterproductive.

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A goal that is more complex than it seems

For further analysis, Zarwas divided people into two groups based on their approach to assessing their level of happiness:

  • Happiness seekers: In other words, people who consider happiness a very important goal. The study shows that this trend is relatively harmless.
  • care about happiness These people are likely to wonder if they are happy enough. According to Zirwas, this tendency prevents one from achieving happiness by introducing negative emotions into thinking.

Based on these two approaches, the psychologist suggests that two main axes can “make or break happiness”:

  • Strategies that an individual uses to search for happiness. For example, prioritize activities that bring positivity into your daily life. If an individual can implement such strategies, the pursuit of happiness is more likely to succeed.
  • The degree to which an individual feels bad about his or her emotions in pursuit of happiness. While feeling bad about certain events can motivate us to pursue our goals more successfully, this is not the case when the latter comes to feeling happy. Feeling bad about your feelings when you search for happiness is counterproductive and takes you further from your goal.

Mistakes are not made

Finally, Felicia Zerwas reviewed some of the common mistakes people make in their pursuit of happiness:

  • You don’t know what will bring you happiness, which leads to the development of strategies that are not really useful for achieving this. A simple, universal example: Most people believe that spending money on yourself should boost happiness. However, empirical research indicates that those who spend on themselves are not as happy as those who spend on others.
  • Exposure to societal pressures Which can sometimes mean that people must constantly feel happy in order to achieve the optimum level of well-being. However, research indicates that this is not the case. In general, allowing yourself to experience your feelings, whatever they may be, with an attitude of acceptance can be a useful tool in the search for happiness.Zerwas explains.
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And for those who are completely stuck on the (long) path to happiness, the researcher offers two tips: first, carry out work centered on implementing effective strategies in the search for happiness, for example with a therapist or psychologist. health practitioner.

Second, try to develop a state of mindfulness to reduce stress from the high emotional goals you have set for yourself, and thus reduce the likelihood of feeling distressed about your feelings.