5 Happiness Myths
Real Relationship Advice
Every so often we need to revisit the idea of happiness. We like to use phrases like relationship advice, parenting advice, or self-help but in reality the only thing that we here at CoupleDumb want is for you to be happy. No matter how many emotions we throw into the psychic blender, happiness always floats to the top.
Unfortunately, even though we are all seeking happiness, very few know anything about it. So here are 5 myths about happiness to set the record straight.
Myth 1: You can’t be happy and sad.
Any time that scientists put a person’s head in a big machine and show them alternating pictures of kitties and dead kitties, you know that fun will ensue. What the whitecoats found was that happiness lit up one part of the brain and sadness lit another. It is possible to have the happy and sad parts lit up at the same time. Depression, on the other hand, was the turning-off of the happiness area.
I know that I have the same emotional responses as a four year old. When someone says no to me, I get sad. But I am still happy to have someone to be sad with.
Myth 2: You can’t be happy all the time.
Yes you can. We would never want anyone to think that CoupleDumb is telling them to suppress emotions. We are not. We are saying that most people do not label emotions correctly and they put meaning to the emotion that is not there. You can be happy and sad. You can be happy and frustrated. You can be happy and tired. All of these things can be going on at one time yet studies show that people use one to negate the other. So go ahead and be happy all of the time.
Myth 3: Happiness is always weepy.
This is where studying liars pays off. When psychologists analyzed video of people lying about emotional states, the people lying would be overly emotional. One study looked at people making a plea for the return of a missing family member. The people that, according to overwhelming evidence, probably killed the missing person gave an overly emotional performance.
Happiness is not weepy. It is subtle and pleasant. If someone is crying about how happy they are, they are either lying or drunk.
Myth 4: God makes you happy.
Church goers are happier, not because of God, but because of the people in church. Research shows that people who go to church are happier because it brings up their overall sense of wellbeing by being around other people. This is not God bashing, by the way. We are going to put it out there that the greatest gift that God gives us is other people.
Myth 5: Happiness isn’t sexy.
At least in women it is. In another of those ‘show people pictures’ studies, the most sexy emotion according to men looking at pictures of women is happiness. Interestingly, women found pride to be sexy in men. This is not as bad as it sounds because scientists see pride as long-term goal success. They consider pride and happiness the same thing, except that happiness is short term and pride is long term. So for the purposes of this myth, happiness is sexy. Remember that.
Now that you know the myths, it is your turn to make some new realities. Be happy. It’s good for you.