According to a report on Yahoo last week, sad people live longer! Can it be true that despite all we hear in the media about making the effort to develop a happier, healthier life, that it would actually be working against our best interests in the long term? Being sad and feeling sad thoughts?
The portent of the article focuses around happy people being more likely to live for the day and unlikely to plan for the future.
Writing in the journal Perspectives On Psychological Science, a team of psychologists say that people who are relentless in the pursuit of happiness can end up being worse off than when they started. It was stated that most people felt worse after watching a happy film, compared with those who were not given any mood boosting advice. And the assertion concluded it was probably because they had higher expectations of being happy, and when this did not happen, they felt cheated and disappointed.
Then it goes on to say that it found that children who rated as highly cheerful by their teachers actually died younger than their less cheerful classmates. It went on to say it’s because people who are happy tend to take more risks such as compulsive habits of imbibing in drugs, drinking too much, driving too fast and using up life savings carelessly, and all without thought for the consequences.
The case goes on to say that a negative mindset is more likely to operate from a place of fear so taking fewer risks, going on to say what is actually important to people:
“The strongest predictor of happiness is not money, or external recognition through success or fame,” said study co-author, Professor June Gruber at Yale University. “It’s having meaningful social relationships. That means the best way to increase your happiness is to stop worrying about being happy and instead divert your energy to nurturing the social bonds you have with other people. If there’s one thing you’re going to focus on, focus on that. Let all the rest come as it will.”
There is limited information in this report so it’s challenging to comment on because this Yahoo report doesn’t validate it’s source, but logically it makes sense and prompts one to think.
Is Your Glass Half-Empty?
What are your thoughts about having the glass half-empty or the glass half-full philosophy? My understanding is the brain is pre-programmed towards negative thoughts which is why it takes some effort to re-programme what we might call the hard-drive, or the neural pathways, where all the habits, behaviours and learning reside.
The purpose is to eliminate any self-defeating behaviours and by nature this will lift your mood and as a consequence you’re more likely to feel happier, lighter, brighter and less stressed with more self-confidence. So maybe in light of the above report this is a different type of happiness.