“Too much of a good thing is a bad thing,” they say. This too proves to be true when it comes to feeling too good. Happiness feels good but should be experienced in moderation and in appropriate situations as it can eventually hurt you instead.
Recognising the pitfalls of happiness will enable us to understand it more deeply and learn to better promote healthier and more balanced lives.
Happiness Can Put You In Danger
When we experience happiness, we tend to look toward exciting and positive things in our lives to help sustain the good feeling. However, in a journal called “Comparing Happiness and Hypomania Risk: A Study of Extraversion and Neuroticism Aspects” by Tabitha Kirkland, June Gruber, and William A. Cunningham shared that high levels of positive affect have been linked with hypomania risk: a set of cognitive, affective, and behavioral characteristics that constitute a dispositional risk for future episodes of hypomania and mania.
For a person diagnosed with bipolar disorder, they are deep into pleasurable acts during these manic episodes. More often than not, these acts can put them at risk – such as going on an uncontrollable shopping spree, binge eating, relentless dancing, sexual leaching, and drug abuse. Mania can also spark delusions such as making the person think they’re immortal and living out their fantasies.
You Can’t Always Be Happy
Different emotions follow different situations. For example, anger drives us to overcome obstacles; fear alerts us to threats; and sadness signals loss. The varying emotions enable us to meet particular needs in specific contexts, and you wouldn’t want to be happy in every situation.
In an article by Greater Good, psychologist Charles Carver shared that positive emotions like happiness signal to us that our goals are being fulfilled, which enables us to slow down, step back, and mentally coast. However, being happy all the time, especially in inappropriate contexts – such as watching a film of a young child cry or abuse – might point to a bigger psychological problem.
The Bad Kind of Feel Good
In general, there are two types of happiness: hedonistic and eudaimonic. Originating from greek word Hedone, hedonistic happiness may refer to pleasure, delight, enjoyment. It means to put pleasure or enjoyment as a chief goal in life – or what we would call, the pursuit of happiness. With a focus on always feeling-good, this could lead you to constantly chasing highs that may be temporary.