07 Dec 11 Things Incurably Happy People Don’t Care About
via Forbes by Tony Ewing
One of the biggest, post-Corona challenges for professionals and leaders is helping themselves and others avoid negative and depressed feelings. Whether those feelings stem from working remotely or from other, public health measures, they can materialize, in any case.
Indeed, apart from anything else, depressed and unhappy people make for a less productive and less creative office and social sphere.
In this regard, we can learn from the behavioral science of happiness. In particular, it teaches that incurably happy people resist negative and depressed feelings by avoiding certain unproductive ways of thinking. Thus, according to science, there are at least 11 things incurably happy people don’t care about. These include:
- They don’t care about pursuing happiness as a life goal. Strange as it sounds, researchers have found that the very pursuit of happiness drives away happiness. In one study, for example, the scientists discovered that people seeking happiness by watching happy movies often felt disappointed afterwards. They were often more depressed than people who did not watch the movies but read the news. And in another, longer-term study, they found that people who pursued happiness from a youthful age (in the 1920s) ended up dying earlier, potentially from the onset of depression that came about when they did not continually reach new happiness milestones. As an alternative, the researchers suggest living in the present experience, but not actively seeking a happy experience.
- They don’t care who is to blame. To the extent happiness means reducing stress, one of the best ways incurably happy people do so is by not assigning and/or even accepting, blame. Scientists have found, for example, that people who routinely assign blame to others—even when it’s merited—suffer numerous, stress-related illnesses. Indeed, recent work has even begun to overturn older concerns about ‘self-blame’. In that past, psychologists, such as Freud, argued that blaming one’s self led to depression. However, however, recent evidence from brain scientists has challenged this view. They found that self-blame of the negative sort could be a defensive mechanism: one wherein the depressed person did not accept blame appropriately in some past, critical instance. Yet, when blame is accurately attributed (or accepted when plausible) brain processes associated with depression are not related to self-blame. Indeed, self-blame ignites pleasure centers. The upshot is that many happy people achieve this state by not seeking to assign blame in the first place.
- They don’t care about losing things to change. The enemy of change is our inability to let things go. Indeed, some brain scientists at Yale have found that the stronger our attachment to possessions, the more stressed we become about losing them to change. Naturally, that leads us to resist change. Yet, this ignites a vicious cycle. As other research studies have shown, stress leads to loss aversion—or a mental hangup wherein we hold a distorted view of risk-taking. When we’re loss averse, for example, we’re unwilling to accept opportunities when we should and willing to take bad gambles when we shouldn’t. The upshot is that we make things worse for ourselves precisely because we resist change. As a result, incurably happy people do not resist change. They realize losses are often necessary to make room for new gains…
… keep reading the full & original article HERE
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