Between the books, seminars and blogs, the study of how to make a happy life is practically its own genre. But does all of this happiness-chasing actually work?
The sense that one should always feel good, psychologist Todd Kardashan told The Huffington Post, is toxic. Some research suggests that Americans are actually getting less happy as the years go by. And according to Kardashan, it’s our relentless pursuit of happiness that may be steering us in the wrong direction.
But given the culture of positivity around happiness research and writing, it’s easy to forget that “bad” feelings are healthy and indeed essential to taking part in the full emotional spectrum of the human experience. “The science is very clear that when we try to conceal the distress we feel, we are less productive and less effective, and we end up feeling emotionally worse,” Kardashan said.
And in his new book, The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why Being Your Whole Self — Not Just Your ‘Good’ Self — Drives Success And Fulfillment, co-authored by Robert Biswas-Diener, Kardashan advocates feeling bad.
He believes that this single-minded pursuit of happiness is part and parcel with a strong tendency to seek comfort and avoid discomfort of any kind and that, he argues in his book, is making us psychologically weak.
I agree. Fully.
Glad my own insight, is validated by others, with wisdom.