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Does Pursuing Happiness Make Us Happier?

Be Happy

A recent study finds that people who pursue happiness as a goal, tend to feel they don’t have enough time, and as a result feel less happy. Isn’t it ironic?

The study published in the Psychonomic Bulletin & Review Journal found a positive link between the sense of people that are in a state of pursuing happiness and their perception of time as scarce. Furthermore, the sense of going after something that is yet to be achieved does not leave time for appreciating that which we have already achieved.

Another factor which lessons the feeling of happiness is different people’s concept of what “happiness” is. The further away the subjective concept of happiness is from our current situation, the more we perceive time as a scarce resource and the less happier we feel.

So how can we work towards achieving our goals and feel happier?

  1. Practice appreciating what you HAVE - keep a gratitude journal and appreciate the good in your life daily.

  2. Set short-term goals so that you can experience accomplishment. Making any X-year plans can give you an abstract course of direction you may want to follow. But when it comes to setting goals, set them for shorter spans of time, such as 90 days. Setting 90-day goals contributes to your motivation to achieve them - it is easier to follow your progress, tweak the goal and adapt milestones along the way, and most importantly, you get to experience accomplishment, which in turn motivates you to continue on the path of positive change. When you have a “big goal” set for 1 year from now, the mere “size” of the goal and the long-term time frame make you either get discouraged very quickly or forget your initial motivation along the way.

  3. Embrace our favorite quote here at Life & Apples - “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way”. This quote by Buddha says it all. Do not pursue some unclear (and sometimes unrealistic) concept of “happiness”, but rather find the happiness in this moment, in this day.