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Blog > Don’t Fall for These 4 Happiness Myths

Don’t Fall for These 4 Happiness Myths

Pursuing happiness is an innately human thing to do. However, falling for these four myths about happiness can keep you off track for years.
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Pursuing happiness is an innately human thing to do. However, falling for myths about happiness can keep you from experiencing real happiness for years.

When it comes to happiness, Americans aren’t excelling. Since the pandemic, American happiness fell to about 41% (previously 48% in 2020). If you find that you are part of the majority of Americans who aren’t happy in life, don’t waste any time pursuing red herrings that won’t ultimately lead to happiness.

By falling for misconceptions about the creation of happiness in your life, you lose the time and energy you could be spending creating happiness that lasts.

Myths About Happiness

Before you begin to eliminate major roadblocks to your happiness, it is important to examine American culture’s myths about happiness.

American culture teaches us that money, relationships, youth, and genetics are keys to happiness, and while none of these things are inherently bad, they will not provide you with the long-term happiness you might hope they will. Many companies, of course, will make and spend a ton of money convincing you of just the opposite. Below, we deconstruct some of these happiness myths.

1. Having Money Will Make You Happy

Money is not inherently a bad thing, and you’re not a bad person if you work to accumulate wealth. But if you solely rely on money for your happiness, you will not experience lifelong fulfillment.

About 70% of lottery winners end up broke within seven years of winning the lottery. Some winners have even gone on to develop drug addictions or meet violent deaths soon after winning, proving that money doesn’t equal happiness.

Like any relationship, you have to put time and energy into your relationship with money. You cannot make money the sole source of your happiness, because it will never fulfill you.

It is dangerous to pursue money as a source of happiness because no amount of money on its own will ever be enough to make you happy. Many people who pursue money don’t feel happy after they’ve met their magic number in terms of income, because they didn’t work on being happy before they had money.

It’s okay to want money, but practice being happy with the amount of money you have now. Work on your relationship with money, so that you appreciate it, but don’t depend on it to make you happy.

2. Being in a Relationship Will Make You Happy

Many people believe that a long-term romantic relationship will provide them with a source of eternal happiness. However, studies have shown that married people are not significantly happier than single people.

Although many people experience an increase in their overall happiness at the start of their marriage, too many people fall into the trap of believing that their marriage will make them happy for the rest of their lives. As a result of this myth, many people experience a sense of isolation and guilt for the feelings they experience later in their marriage.

If you aren’t happy prior to entering into a long-term committed relationship, the relationship will not increase your happiness. Furthermore, relying on another person for happiness (another person who has their own struggles, responsibilities, and personal history) is not sustainable.

It isn’t fair to make one person responsible for the happiness of two people in a relationship. If you are in a relationship, practice creating happiness apart from each other, and then sharing that happiness as a part of your relationship experience.

3. Being and Looking Young Makes You Happy

American culture is fascinated with youth. In general, people want to look and feel young.

Thousands of advertisers and businesses have built their success on society’s fascination with youth because keeping people obsessed with youth is extremely profitable for many industries. This obsession however can cost you a lot of time and money and goes against the natural aging of the human body.

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Meanwhile, studies have shown that older people tend to be happier. They’ve had more experience dealing with many life circumstances, and are generally more equipped to handle almost any emotion. In general, they also report better mental health and higher levels of satisfaction.

Having more experience, a better perspective, and a track record of navigating highs and lows in your life has proven to make people much happier than they might be pursuing youth. People who embrace their age and experiences live a much more fulfilling life.

Rather than obsessing over the past, you can pursue happiness by choosing to believe that your best days are yet to come.

4. People with Better Genetics Are Happier

Many people believe that happiness is rooted in their appearance, behavior, or health. It’s easy to be envious of other people’s genetics when, for example, they appear to eat anything they want without gaining weight, they have a tall stature, or they have innate intelligence and talent.

It’s also easy to feel envious of other people’s genetics when they appear to be less susceptible to certain diseases or illnesses. Instead of treating your genetics as your insurance policy, however, it’s better to invest your time in preventative healthcare.

Once you stop wishing for a different set of genetic coding, you can begin focusing on protecting the genetic coding you do have. You can’t change genetics, but people who embrace what they’ve been given are generally happier.

What Truly Creates Happiness?

You may now be wondering what can actually create happiness. If money, relationships, youth, and genetics cannot make you happy, where can you go from here?

In positive psychology, researchers study the science behind creating happiness. In many of the landmark studies in positive psychology, these researchers have focused on methods of training our brains for happiness.

In essence, you can teach yourself to be happier by implementing four daily practices in your life.

    1. Practice gratitude: Studies have shown that cultivating a feeling of gratitude is one of the best ways to create more happiness in your life. To begin cultivating gratitude in your life, you need only appreciate what you already have that makes your life enjoyable. Begin practicing gratitude by writing down a few things you are grateful for every day.
    1. Celebrating small wins: It’s easy to celebrate the big moments in life. Birthdays, weddings, engagements, or promotions are all causes for celebration. Many people find that celebrating small wins on a daily or weekly basis can help increase their happiness and appreciation for life.
    1. Practice positive self-talk: The way in which you talk to and think about yourself directly impacts your happiness. We tend to be our biggest critics, so practice speaking to yourself in a way that a trusted friend or mentor would speak to you.
    1. Invest in healthy relationships: Although you should not expect to find happiness solely in a busy social life, healthy relationships can be a great source of mutual support and encouragement for anyone. Develop connections with people who will help, encourage, and support you.

The Bottom Line

By falling for misconceptions about the creation of happiness in your life, you lose the time and energy you could be spending creating happiness that lasts.

If you’ve found yourself stumbling into any of these happiness pitfalls before, it’s not too late to change direction. Go easy on yourself and take it one small step at a time. Happiness is a lifelong investment, and you don’t have to have it all figured out today.

If you want to work on your mindset and cultivate lasting happiness in your life, schedule a chat with one of our Arootah life coaches today!

Have you ever pursued a happiness myth before? How do you currently cultivate lasting happiness in your life? Let us know in the comments!




Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be taken as professional medical, psychological, legal, investment, financial, accounting, or tax advice. Arootah does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or suitability of its content for a particular purpose. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read in our newsletter, blog or anywhere else on our website.

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