Monday, October 5, 2015

The Science of Happiness: Four Ways Happiness Can Hurt You

9/21/15: Four Ways Happiness Can Hurt You

Self-Portrait, Spring 1887, Oil on pasteboard,...
Self-Portrait, Spring 1887, Oil on pasteboard, 42 × 33.7 cm., Art Institute of Chicago (F 345). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am falling behind.  One day I should just work on this course all day, for like 6 or 8 hours.

Anyway! The next reading is by June Gruber and was posted to the Greater Good website in May of 2012.Go ahead and read that, and then come back here.

Well, that first point in the article, "Too much happiness can make you less creative—and less safe", is a little scary at first glance.  Not only on a personal level -- dagnabbit, I like my creativity! -- but on a greater level.  We already have the stereotype of the depressed or unbalanced genius (Kurt Cobain died on my 11th birthday), and findings like this, even if true, could discourage creative minds from getting the help they need. I read a hypothetical somewhere, I forget where, but it asked: if Vincent Van Gogh had been on antidepressants, would he have produced fewer masterpieces, because his genius was stifled?  Or would he have produced more, because he would have lived so much longer?

Fortunately, the article is only referring to overwhelming happiness or mania. Fair enough.

When is is happiness bad?  When it's not appropriate to the situation, or causes negative social outcomes, or when you're just driven too hard to find happiness that proves elusive.

Yeah, I have to say, most of that seems like common sense to me.  What are your thoughts?

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