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Can You Have Too Much Happiness?

6 comments | April 9th, 2012

(by OOC via bigthink.com)

Can happiness possibly have a downside?  In a word, so it seems (get it, that's not 1 word).

According to this article, having too much of a good thing, even happiness, can turn out badly…When it comes to income levels, life expectancy, education and being attentive to risks, too much happiness can drag you down. "Psychologists have documented a set of cognitive deficits, dangerous in some contexts, that come with the warm wash of feeling that all is right with the world…contemporary psychology reminds us that happiness is the byproduct of certain ways of behavior. It is not an end that can be achieved by pursuing bliss directly. That, they say, is a recipe for unhappiness."

Forget what the cognitive psychologists think…what do you think?  Have you ever had too much of a good thing? What was it?  What about happiness – is it possible to be too happy?

 

6 comments

  • Jules

    Posted on April 9, 2012

    In a word, no. In 2 words, no way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted on April 9, 2012

    Too much sex, for sure. Felt like I’d been riding a horse for a week. In some ways I had :)

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  • J.L.M.

    Posted on April 9, 2012

    You can def have 2 much of a good thing but i do not think happiness is one of those things.

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  • me

    Posted on April 9, 2012

    While I agreed with the other commenters at first, I then read the actual article on the Boston Globe website and it actually makes sense. My interpretation: Emotions are like food — everything in moderation. It’s not realistic to always be happy, just as it’s unrealistic (and unhealthy) to only live on fruits and vegetables. Just as a diet comprised solely of produce will leave you sick and a little out of it, an overly happy mental state could leave you prone to misjudgments and poor decisions. If you grasp too much for something and place too much value on it, you will be more disappointed and critical when it doesn’t happen. Rather than striving to constantly be happy and placing happiness on a pedestal, perhaps we’d be better off accepting that life is made fuller by its ups and downs.
    Would the warmth of a fire be as comforting without the frigid temperatures outside? or the splendor of a clear spring day as beautiful without the dreary days that came before? You never get a rainbow without a little rain.

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    • Momof2

      Posted on April 9, 2012

      You explain this really well. ALL emotions are part of life. Why can’t we accept that when we are adults? My kids go from happy to sad to mad to scared to tired etc., etc. almost every day. We try to let them have all these feelings and try not to move on from any of them too quickly.

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