Happiness is impossible

Psychoanalyst Adam Phillips is interviewed in The Guardian about the paradox of chasing happiness and the negative effects of emotional idealism.

Phillips argues that trying to eliminate all sources of stress in your life is a pointless exercise and we should become better at tolerating difficult situations if we are to be become fully content.

I tell Phillips that at my workstation books with the word happiness in the title arrive unbidden by the hour. They include: Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness, Richard Schoch’s The Secrets of Happiness, Darrin McMahon’s The Pursuit of Happiness, Richard Layard’s Happiness: Lessons from a New Science and Jonathan Haidt’s The Happiness Hypothesis. Do you read these books? “I’ve looked at them. They seem to me to be the problem rather than the solution.”

Phillips also gives his take on the current focus on CBT as the psychological therapy of choice and the use of psychoanalysis as a long-term therapy for people with socially turbulent modern lives.

Link to article ‘Happiness is always a delusion’ as posted at mindHacks

Measuring something as subjective as the feeling or state of happiness is a tricky business.

While some may take pleasure in closing a big financial merger, others may be content to watch a babbling brook as they sip lemonade. The BBC has never shied away from taking on such weighty matters and they have recently created this website to complement their ongoing series titled “The Happiness Formula”.

Users may wish to orient themselves to the site by viewing some of the short video clips featured on the right-hand side of the site’s homepage. The site also contains material on the relationship between economic success and overall happiness levels and the health benefits of happiness. The site is rounded out by a place where visitors can offer their own suggestions for improving happiness and another area where they can take a quiz on happiness.

via The Scout Report