Debunking Happiness Myths

Mercedes and Anastasia, co founders of Small Bits of Happiness, Mercedes in a plaid jacket, with braided hair has her hands on her face in a shocked expression. Anastasia is wearing a long sleeve mauve top and a ponytail in her hair, she has her hands on her face in a shocked expression

These common happiness myths can be found all over the internet. Are they true?

“The most profound happiness cannot be bought with money. It is felt in the heart” 

Prakhar Sahay

1. “Money can buy us happiness.”

Do you think having more money would make you happier? Who doesn’t dream of being rich and buying what they want? True, buying things will only bring you a very temporary moment of happiness but the worry about money to pay for rent, having heat in the house, affording food, not spending time on mowing the lawn can definitely ease your stress and anxiety, and that is a small bit of happiness.  So does money make you happier? No. But it can make you less stressed.

Hand holding up tree with money on leaves

2. “Happiness is based on the world around us.”

Before Happiness by Shawn Achor book cover
CREDIT: Shawn Achor/Amazon

A lot of people think that if things are not going well for them, because they don’t like their school or they’re not doing well in a certain situation, then they can’t be happy. However, according to Shawn Achor, only ten percent of long-term happiness is based on external circumstances. In his research Shawn actually states that 90% of happiness is based on perception. One of the key things to being happier everyday is focusing on having a positive perception of the world around us. If we can find some aspects of positivity, then we can be much happier, regardless of the situation we’re in. 

This information was taken from the book “Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change” by Shawn Achor

3. “I will only be happy if I have …..”

One of the most common myths is that if we achieve or gain something, we’ll finally be happy. Like “if I get an A on this test I’ll be happy.”, “If I look this way I’ll be happy.”, “If I have more friends I’ll be happy”. But in the end, even if we do achieve these things, we never feel quite satisfied. We always feel like we’ll be happier if we can achieve or have just one more thing.  This means that having a certain thing or achieving something won’t make us any happier, because after accomplishing one thing, we’ll just want to accomplish something else. The only way to true happiness is by being happy with who we are right now.

This information was taken from the book “The Myths of Happiness” by Sonja Lyubomirsky

The Myths of Happiness by Sonja Lyubmirsky
CREDIT: Sonja Lyubomirsky/Amazon

4. “Happy people live longer.”

Three teens laying with hands under their head on the sand, smiling.

According to a study in Lancet, being happy won’t necessarily extend your life, however being unhappy won’t shorten it.    

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about these common happiness myths, learned something new, and got a Small Bit of Happiness!



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