Trying to Be Happy Is Making You Miserable. Here’s Why
The Declaration of Independence guaranteed Americans the right to pursue happiness, and we haven’t stopped looking for it since. But despite the college courses, research labs and countless self-help books dedicated to that search, only 33% of Americans actually said they were happy in a 2017 survey.
A new paper may help explain why: We’re trying too hard.
The research, published in the journal Emotion, found that overemphasizing happiness can make people more likely to obsess over failure and negative emotions when they inevitably do happen, bringing them more stress in the long run.