Trying too hard to be happy is a one-way ticket to disappointment. The trick is to focus on what makes you unhappy and work from there.
Photo Alexander Mazilkin.
According to Randy J. Paterson, Ph.d., author of How to Be Miserable: 40 Strategies You Already Use, you can't become a happier person if you don't know what causes you misery in the first place. Paterson explains to David Marchese at Science of Us:
If you realise that if you want to feel worse, you could be completely inactive, get no exercise, eat non-nutritious food, or compare yourself negatively to others, you can then go, well, wait a minute, maybe I could do the opposite of that and that would be helpful.
Of course, figuring out what makes, or will make, you miserable is just the first step. Paterson says that making the necessary changes in your life to defend your well-being is the hard part. So the secret to happiness isn't pursuing it, it's fending off the things you know drag you down. You read more about Paterson's thoughts on happiness at the link below.
To Get Happier, Focus on What Makes You Miserable [Science of Us]