Fat salaries and corporate success aren’t the gateways to happiness they’re cracked up to be. It is understandable that we may believe they are. “We’re fed such an incredibly dense diet of popular media and marketing that shapes our understanding of happiness in a way that actually gets in the way of it,” says Emiliana Simon-Thomas, science director at the University of California at Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. “I think we as a society, particularly in the West, have a bit of an illusion about where happiness comes from and how to get more of it.”
Researchers have been trying to discern fact from fiction for many years when it comes down to finding out what causes happiness. Here are six surprising things we often think are making us happy—but that might actually be doing the opposite.
Negative emotions can be avoided
It is possible to be happy. You can make a difference by reducing negative emotions like fear, anger, and resentment.
It turns out that the reverse is true—and experts say that’s the No. One thing that most people do wrong when it comes to the pursuit of happiness. “We The mistaken belief that a happy, meaningful and fulfilling life means living in a positive environment all the time.