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There's More to Life Than Being Happy - Emily Esfahani Smith - The Atlantic

Stashed in: #health, #happiness, Young Americans, Awesome, Meaning of Life, America!, Depression

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According to Gallup , the happiness levels of Americans are at a four-year high -- as is, it seems, the number of best-selling books with the word "happiness" in their titles. At this writing, Gallup also reports that nearly 60 percent all Americans today feel happy without a lot of stress or worry. On the other hand, according to the Center for Disease Control, about 4 out of 10 Americans have not discovered a satisfying life purpose. Forty percent either do not think their lives have a clear sense of purpose or are neutral about whether their lives have purpose. Nearly a quarter of Americans feel neutral or do not have a strong sense of what makes their lives meaningful. Research has shown that having purpose and meaning in life increases overall well-being and life satisfaction, improves mental and physical health, enhances resiliency, enhances self-esteem, and decreases the chances of depression. On top of that, the single-minded pursuit of happiness is ironically leaving people less happy, according to recent research. "It is the very pursuit of happiness," Frankl knew, "that thwarts happiness."

When we spend our time PURSUING happiness, we have less time for ENJOYING happiness.

To put it another way: There is no way to happiness; happiness IS the way.

So wait, 6 in 10 Americans have discovered a satisfying life purpose?

And why is the Center for Disease Control studying this?

Because unhappiness is a communicable disease?

It certainly does seem that way sometimes, Tristan. :)

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