A Surprising Secret to Happiness

A Surprising Secret to Happiness

Evidence-based strategies that will boost your happiness are pretty well known these days.

In fact, you almost certainly know most of what you could do to be happier.

That being said, there are still some “secrets” to happiness, or strategies / tools / hacks that are less well known. And so if you’re hoping to create and enjoy more happiness, you might want to read on …

via Psychology Today by Arash Emamzadeh


  • The idea that negative emotions are bad for us makes some intuitive sense, but is it true?
  • Research shows that fully experiencing emotions, including negative ones, correlates with greater well-being.
  • Interventions that increase psychological flexibility include mindfulness and acceptance-based therapies.

Source: silviarita/Pixabay

Researchers R. J. Klein and colleagues, in a paper in the June 2023 issue of Emotion, reached a surprising conclusion: More intense emotional responses, even negative emotions, are linked to happiness and better mental health.

Investigating emotional reactivity and psychological well-being

Briefly, the investigations by the authors evaluated “global well-being in terms of a composite of eudaimonic [e.g., sense of purposemeaning in life] and positive emotional components.”

Studies 1 and 2

Samples: N1 = 134 undergraduates; the average age of 19 years old; 73% women; 89% Caucasian. N2 = 139 undergraduates; the average age of 19 years old; 53% women; 88% Caucasian.

The research examined the association between well-being and emotional responses to pleasant and unpleasant images, as measured by Dynamic Affective Reactivity Task (DART).

The hypothesis was, “Happier people would display larger peak displacements from neutrality when rating how pleasant versus unpleasant their momentary feelings were.”

Studies 3, 4, and 5

Samples: N3 = 98; mean age of 20 years old; 72% women; 86% Caucasian. N4 = 134, mean age of 19 years old; 51% women; 82% Caucasian. N5 = 128; mean age of 19 years old; 63% women, 88% Caucasian.

The third and fourth experiments aimed to further examine the functional bases of the link between stronger emotional responses and greater well-being. Specifically, the goal was to investigate “behavioral phenomena that could link higher levels of emotional flexibility to higher levels of well-being.”

The researchers’ predictions were “rooted in the idea that emotional reactions exist because they motivate solutions” to problems from our “evolutionary past.” What problems? For instance, survival in constantly changing and heterogeneous environments. To survive, people need to be properly motivated. Motivation, of course, depends on the emotional state…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE