Seeking Happiness Can Lead to Loneliness

Research is apparently coming out showing that there’s a correlation to people who seek happiness as a primary motivation might not be all that happy – in fact they’re more likely to be depressed, have anxiety, or a plethora of other issues.

When I read that, I was legitimately shocked – at first. The more I thought about it, the more I started to frame what the research was all about. If someone is seeking happiness, maybe they aren’t all that happy to begin with. I’m still young, all things considered, and I have plenty of years left to worry about the bigger existential questions about life. If you asked me if I was happy I probably wouldn’t have much of a real answer other than “sure”. I feel pretty satisfied by my life. There’s certainly more I’d like to be doing and I’m always trying to improve myself on some level, but I have nothing much to complain about it. Like anyone else, I have my ups and downs. I guess I haven’t put too much thought into it one way or the other – which according to the research puts me in an advantageous position.

Another interesting point made is the power of accepting the negative aspects of your life. People are gonna hurt you sometimes. Relationships will never be perfect. Your job’s gonna have stress with it. If you prepare yourself mentally for it, you won’t be all that blindsided when things don’t always go your way. If there’s anything I’ve become accustomed to over the years it’s that life can throw you for a loop. Don’t be a hopeless optimist – you’ll probably end up disappointed. Life is never quite what we expect it to be. Good and bad come at the drop of a pin. That doesn’t mean you have to act bitter or jaded, but keep a good head on your shoulders about the world around you.

Still, though, we all want to be happy. I don’t know how I would even begin to describe what happiness actually is. Family? Good friends? An awesome job? Perhaps it’s something deeper than that on some sort of philosophical and immaterial level. I’d like to believe that each person defines happiness themselves on their own level. I say for now, the closest substitute to what happiness actually is could be described, as I mentioned earlier, is satisfaction. Feel fulfilled by what you are doing each and every day. Press forward and be willing to grow and evolve.

How satisfied are you with your life right now? If you aren’t, what can you do to make a change?

(via Psychology Today)