Strategies And Tips For Living Your Most Confident And Happiest Life

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How Striving for Happiness Can Make you Less Happy

In this video I interview my dear friend, Dr. Jamie Gruman about his fascinating research in which he discovered that people who focus on being happy all the time are actually less happy. It’s kind of counter intuitive so Jamie explains the reasons for this and what we can do to be lastingly happier.


Great discussion, thank you. Everything that was said makes sense to me.

I may have missed something, but I didn’t hear Dr.Gruman address the corollary that people who feel unhappy are more likely to crave and seek happiness. ie. more likely than a person who is “in the flow” and already enjoying happiness. Perhaps this was factored into the study? Thanks.

November 19, 2014 at 11:40 am
nancy j anderson

I absolutely love the blogs. I continue to watch them over and over.

Thanks Louisa!

These blogs also provide inspiration, more knowledge into my own life.

Many thanks and keep it up, nancy.

November 19, 2014 at 1:35 pm
Louisa Jewell

Thank you so much Nancy!

December 3, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Dan, below, makes a good point. Of course people who are chronically depressed will long for happiness and think about having it. Jamie makes it seem that their thinking of happiness is causing them to be depressed which seems backwards and a little unfair.

Having said that, it is true that people may set themselves up for disappointment and self-defeating thoughts if they have the expectation that they will be happy all the time. As Seligman notes, happiness isn’t really found in the more superficial happiness “feeling,” it’s more about an appreciation of the ups and downs of life. It’s associated with wisdom.

The self-reflection and introspection that goes with developing a sense of one’s purpose and how to help others (or at least harm them less) needs to be separated out from self-centered navel-gazing associated with “me first” gratification.

January 23, 2015 at 2:13 am

The idea that striving for happiness makes us unhappy is a few thousand years old. Buddhism teaches this. Mindfulness teaches us not to strive but to accept the present.

Other studies showing these results have been around years. He should have checked Google first!

April 4, 2015 at 12:09 pm
Louisa Jewell

Hi Mike, I think you said it right there, mindfulness teaches us not to strive but to accept. That is the difference. Jamie’s research suggests that when we practice happiness habits in our daily lives while being fully present (and not worrying about whether we are happy every second or not) we are happier.

April 7, 2015 at 2:01 pm

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