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One of the Biggest Myths about Happiness


Narrator:        This is Science Today. What's one of the biggest myths about happiness? Positive psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California, Riverside, says it's thinking you'd be happy if only you had that one thing you desire.

Lyubomirsky: For some people it might be - if I move to another city, if I had a boyfriend, if I had a baby, if I had a different job. It turns out that those things do make people happy, but just not as long and not as much as you think they will because people generally then tend to revert back to their baseline or set point. So, I'm not saying that things like a new job or a new house or a new baby won't make you happy, but you really need to effortfully practice ways of thinking and acting that kind of maximize that happiness.

Narrator:        Lyubomirsky wrote The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want, which outlines several happiness strategies based on years of scientific research.

Lyubomirsky: If you're going to put a lot of time and effort into making yourself a happier person, you need to be sure that that effort is worthwhile and that it's based on scientific research and not someone's opinion.

Narrator:        For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.