The 2 Biggest Misconceptions About Happiness - Deepstash

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A Degree In Happiness

Back in 2015, Tal Ben-Shahar was on a transatlantic flight when a question came to mind: How is it that there is a field of study for psychology, philosophy, history, medicine, geography, you name itand there is no field of study for happiness? Yeah, there is positive psychology but that's just the psychology of happiness. What about what philosophers like Lao Tzu or Aristotle had to say about it? What about what literature remarked on happiness? Or neuroscience or theology or economics? Why isn't there an interdisciplinary field of study that looks at life's ultimate highest goal?


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Happiness And Pleasure Aren’t Mutually Inclusive

There are two main critiques that people have for the field of happiness studies. The first one is that it's superficial. The reason is that they equate happiness with pleasure. So when people say, "Oh, I went to the beach. I was so happy," or, "This ice cream just makes me happy," well, that's not happiness. That is pleasure. Happiness is much more than pleasure. It also includes our ability to deal with painful experiences, finding a sense of meaning and purpose, cultivating healthy relationships, and intellectual development.


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Happiness And Suffering Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

The second critique of the field of happiness stems from the false understanding that a happy life is a life devoid of painful emotions. It's not. It can never be. Part of a happy life is the vicissitudes of daily life. 


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Happiness And The Vicissitudes Of Life: An Improbable Friendship

Overall, happiness includes life's ups and downs. The signs of happiness can strengthen our psychological immune system. Because the role of the science of happiness is first of all, to introduce us to concepts like post-traumatic growth, which is growing stronger as a result of hardship. And second, to teach us what conditions we can put in place in our homes, in our organizations, in our schools, in our countries to increase the likelihood of growing from hardship. Hardship is inevitable. What we do with our hardship, well, here we have a choice.


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Happiness is largely cognitive; it’s a state of mind, not an emotion



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Happiness is a noun, so we think it’s something we can own. But happiness is a place to visit, not a place to live. It’s like the child’s idea that if you drive far and fast enough you can get to the horizon—no, the horizon’s not a place you get to.



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“An idea is something that won’t work unless you do.” - Thomas A. Edison


Why studying happiness is good for our “psychological immune system,” explained by Harvard “happiness professor” Tal Ben-Shahar.

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