Why These 6 Happiness Boosters Might Actually Make You Feel WorseEveryone has a few tricks for beating the blues. It turns out, however, that several of the most popular strategies don’t actually work very well in the long term. Beware if you are tempted to try any of the following:

1. Comforting yourself with a “treat.”

Often, the things we choose as “treats” aren’t good for us. The pleasure lasts a minute, but then feelings of guilt, loss of control, and other negative consequences just deepen the lousiness of the day. So when you find yourself thinking, “I’ll feel better after I have a pint of ice cream… a cigarette… a new pair of jeans,” ask yourself — will it really make you feel better? It might make you feel worse. In particular, beware of…

6 Comments to
Why These 6 Happiness ‘Boosters’ Might Actually Make You Feel Worse

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  1. I call a friend, and if one isn’t available, I “sit” with it. Fortunately, I am very resilient, and I know it will go away when “it” is ready to!

  2. Journaling is the absolute worst thing I can do. I can’t imagine why people think and write and rethink and proofread what is making them miserable so they can reread it later. The affirmations-style journaling makes me a little nauseous. For me, getting up and going outside will almost always lead to weeding and a little pruning and picking up dead branches — cleaning and trimming the landscaping is a small accomplishment that almost always perks me up a little, and I feel a little pride every time I see it.

  3. Gretchen Rubin – all of these are simple, good recommendations, and all fit me, as well.
    Fried Egg – right! I do write, but tracking my misery is not a way out. I once reviewed some quite old entries – they might have helped someone else to diagnose depression; for me, it tended to seduce me into old bad generalizations – as in, ” see – you were always like this – you’ll never change.”
    And I also do well with being outdoors – I find that trimming bushes is absolutely wonderful – you’re outside, moving, reshaping something you can feel, smell and see. Some friends get that from inside cleaning — but that is definitely not me. And outside, I am among those who l love to watch the birds and other animals – not only for beauty, to see their persistence. All winter I fed not only the little ones, but a family of 6 crows – they live in families. The “teenagers’ may help raise the young ones; they have a coordinated way of communicating about food and dangers. Although we cannot tell them apart, they can recognize different humans. Observing them is an entry into a separate world; feeding them is another activity that takes you out of yourself.

  4. I fully agree with the article, you feel really well when you acccomplish a small task whatever it will be, and that is a source of happiness and it increases our self-esteem!

  5. Two things that work best for me is a fast half hour walk, especially if it is partly uphill or a workout lifting weights and stretching. These are almost always mood elevating, unless you drop a weight bench on your thumb as I did last saturday. Lest any think these are the words of a young jock, I will be 65 in July. I also find that a joint really boosts the morale also.

  6. As a Buddhist, I can assure you that turning off the phone to meditate does work wonders. That’s not isolation, it’s solitude.

  7. I go to my pill bottle and take an alpraz….

    Work good doc. Are there any long term side effects you can bring to light?

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