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“7 Myths About Happiness”

Nearly all of us buy into what I call the myths of happiness.
Published on March 9, 2013 by Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D. in How of Happiness

Nearly all of us buy into what I call the myths of happiness—beliefs that certain adult achievements (marriage, kids, jobs, wealth) will make us forever happy and that certain adult failures or adversities (health problems, divorce, having little money) will make us forever unhappy. Overwhelming research evidence, however, reveals that there is no magic formula for happiness and no sure course toward misery. Rather than bringing lasting happiness or misery in themselves, major life moments and crisis points can be opportunities for renewal, growth, or meaningful change. Yet how you greet these moments really matters.

I’ll Be Happy When I’m Married to the Right Person

One of the most pervasive happiness myths is the notion that we’ll be happy when we find that perfect romantic partner—when we say “I do.” The false promise is not that marriage won’t make us happy. For the great majority of individuals, it will. The problem is that marriage—even when initially perfectly satisfying—will not make us as intensely happy (or for as long) as we believe it will. Indeed, studies show that the happiness boost from marriage lasts an average of only two years. Unfortunately, when those two years are up and fulfilling our goal to find the idea partner hasn’t made us as happy as we expected, we often feel there must be something wrong with us or we must be the only ones to feel this way.

I Can’t Be Happy When My Relationship Has Fallen Apart

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