Child Boomers Have to Cease Making Happiness the Purpose

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Research present that youthful baby boomers constantly report the bottom ranges of happiness with startlingly excessive charges of despair.

I write a weblog primarily based on the premise that these research describing baby boomers because the era dwelling in doom and gloom do not should be self-fulfilling prophecies. As an alternative of permitting these happiness research to make us hopeless throughout our 50’s and 60’s, I give attention to methods we will discover happiness throughout these typically troublesome years.

However are you able to strive too arduous to be glad? Must you make happiness a purpose? Do you are feeling just like the extra you attempt for happiness, the extra it appears to elude you? Is the media making you are feeling like happiness is sort of a button you push for fast bliss?

These might sound like odd questions coming from a blogger who writes about discovering your bliss.

Nonetheless, one latest examine confirmed those who made happiness a purpose, reported 50 % much less frequent constructive feelings, 35 % much less satisfaction about life, and 75 % extra depressive signs.

Perhaps that is why I’ve observed these days happiness is not fairly as stylish because it was. A number of years in the past, the science of happiness made the covers of Time and Oprah magazines. Happiness articles and quotes saturated the Web. Striving for happiness resulted in a complete trade of life coaches, motivational speakers, psychotherapists – and sure, happiness blogs like mine.

However are you getting bored with pretending to be glad on a regular basis? Are you sick of the media telling us to have a constructive perspective it doesn’t matter what’s occurring in your life?

Jimmie Holland, M.D., a psychiatrist with Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York, coined the time period, “the tyranny of constructive pondering.”

Generally it’d really feel like baby boomers are being bullied into pondering that if we do not get up each morning with an on the spot perpetual smile on our face – one thing is fallacious with us.

Social media hasn’t helped. Once I described a few of the trials I’ve confronted these previous few years, a pal advised me, “I might have by no means guessed. You look so glad in your facebook footage.” Sure, I suppose that I’ve fallen into that entice posting solely images that appear to be I am having the time of my life – on a regular basis. In fact, I am not, however that is the fictionalized world all of us dwell in with social media.

Commercials additionally make us really feel like happiness is an entitlement. An on the spot feeling on faucet that may be bought with that new sports automobile or a brand new pair of footwear.

The reality is everybody has issues. Nobody is glad on a regular basis. It is like that quote from Regina Brett: “If all of us threw our issues in a pile and noticed everybody else’s, we might seize ours again.”

The very fact is, most individuals have it worse than you regardless of the glad image they’re portray on facebook. So possibly it is time we baby boomers give up evaluating our ‘happiness’ with others. Stop making “dwelling fortunately ever after” some form of prize all of us wish to obtain.


I used to be studying an fascinating article, The Fallacy of Happiness, on Spike. The article pointed to a examine by health insurers Aviva, that confirmed 1 / 4 of adults within the UK endure from stress, anxiousness or despair and aren’t searching for assist for it as a result of they really feel embarrassed by their “psychological health circumstances.”

“How unusual it’s that such regular, everlasting human feelings as stress, anxiousness and despair are actually positioned below the class of mental-health issues,” columnist Patrick West writes. “Schizophrenia, bipolar dysfunction, the scientific despair which leaves individuals unable to get off the bed for days: these are circumstances that correctly fall below the class of psychological sickness.”

He has a degree. West contends that it is pure to fret or really feel low every so often. These are regular human feelings which have by some means change into pathologized.

Swiftly, destructive emotions are thought of some form of illness or aberration – one thing that have to be cured straight away. That is change into apparent with all of the assortment of “glad drugs” the pharmaceutical trade arms out like PEZ Sweet. I imply, how did our dad and mom and grandparents ever survive with out prescriptions like Xanax, Zoloft, Prozac, Valium, and Ambien?


Lancet, a prestigious medical journal, printed a examine on 700,000 ladies in midlife exhibiting that there won’t be a hyperlink between happiness and health as different research prior to now have claimed.

Much more fascinating than the outcomes had been the reactions of individuals, Grumpy individuals had been leaping for pleasure since they now not needed to endure assertions that their dangerous perspective was endangering their health. Others had been irritated to find all their efforts to be happier won’t end in good health and longer lives like they thought.

However this is the factor. The giddy form of happiness we now have all come to anticipate will not be the norm. Life could be a battle at instances, crammed with disappointments, failures, and challenges.

Many individuals who make happiness their goal try to keep away from uncomfortable destructive emotions that include the conventional ups and downs in life. We will not be glad on a regular basis. We baby boomers are previous and clever sufficient to know that happiness might be fleeting and fickle.

Everybody has these coronary heart wrenching moments when it is unattainable to be a Pollyanna. For instance, a few years in the past I wasn’t leaping for pleasure whereas watching my Mother die after affected by a horrible illness. Once I first began writing, I wasn’t precisely exultant when stacks of rejection letters crammed my mailbox. Or ecstatic when individuals I beloved betrayed me. You get my drift.

Ought to we nonetheless attempt to intention for a constructive perspective? Undoubtedly. Will we at all times obtain it? No.

Groundbreaking work by Iris Mauss supported the concept striving for happiness may very well trigger extra hurt than good. “When individuals wish to be glad, they set larger requirements by which they’re extra more likely to fall quick,” she mentioned. “This, in flip, might result in larger discontent, in flip, decreasing ranges of happiness and well-being.”

Mauss defined, she’s not saying, ‘Do not attempt to be glad,’ In the event you give individuals the suitable instruments, they’ll improve their happiness and well-being, she notes. It’s an exaggerated give attention to happiness that may have downsides.

Irrespective of the place you fall on the happiness spectrum – which partly is because of your genes – self-acceptance is essential.

Let’s face it, I am by no means going to be giddy and giggly, however that is okay. In the event you’re like me, a bit on the intense aspect, you possibly can take consolation from research that present an excessive amount of cheerfulness could make you gullible, egocentric, and fewer profitable. A wee little bit of unhappiness, in truth, can encourage us to make essential modifications in life.


“Happiness will not be a purpose… it is a by-product of a life nicely lived,” Eleanor Roosevelt famously mentioned.

So, let’s all ditch happiness as a purpose. Goal for achievement as a substitute. Attempt for contentment. Set your sights on inspiration and journey. Seek for objective and that means in life.

In the event you baby boomers make these your targets, you are extra more likely to really feel the enjoyment and happiness you have been trying to find all alongside with out even making an attempt.

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