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How to Really Get Happy

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How to Really Get Happy

By Julia Allison, DivineCaroline

It would be tough to argue that anything occupies a larger portion of our conscious “think time” than an endless quest for happiness. And yet, despite this being the ostensible end goal for just about everything we do, we sure spend a lot of time…well…not feeling terribly happy.

Are we bad at happiness? Actually? Yes. We sort of are. But it’s more complicated than that, of course. There are two big fallacies about happiness, and letting go of both of them will allow you to embrace your sunnier nature’and enjoy life a little. What do you have to lose besides that whole “misery” thing?

It’s not always that we’re “bad” at being happy. It’s that we’re frequently bad at accurately predicting what will make us happy.

I’ve read numerous happiness studies which support this point (including, but not limited to the book, Stumbling Upon Happiness) some of which cite statistics and anecdotes about lottery winners, models and movie stars, and others who should theoretically be so hopped up on natural beauty/money/fame bliss that they walk around in a perpetual cloud of joy that mere mortals can’t even wrap their sad, delight-deprived minds around.

Except … that’s not the case. Rich people, beautiful people, and famous people may have lives that “stand out” more on E! True Hollywood Story, but they aren’t happier than the rest of us. In fact, if you’ve ever watched such a program, you’ve probably thought, “Dear God, thank you for not making me rich, gorgeous, and well-known.”

Or maybe you haven’t. And it’s certainly a cliche that cash, looks, and constant paparazzi doesn’t lead you to the temple of contentment. But the extreme examples serve to highlight that we really do place a disproportionate importance on those three, in slightly less dramatic forms–our jobs, our sex appeal, or popularity. So we mindlessly toil away without thinking, or worse, strive toward goals which we confuse with happiness. After all, many of us forget–or never learned in the first place–what really makes us content.

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DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability, and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

112 comments

+ add your own
10:33AM PST on Dec 28, 2013

Thanks for sharing.

4:17PM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

Very nice. Thanks.

7:06AM PDT on Mar 23, 2011

That depends on your definition of happiness.

5:58AM PDT on Mar 23, 2011

nice article

5:54AM PDT on Mar 23, 2011

we all need more joy in our lives.

11:46PM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

thanks

8:22AM PST on Feb 15, 2011

Great info! Thank you.

8:20PM PST on Jan 5, 2011

I love April's idea! :)
Thanks for the article!

9:28AM PST on Jan 2, 2011

I enjoyed this article. Thank you

3:00PM PST on Dec 31, 2010

thanks for that

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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