As a student of positive psychology I can concur with many points in this article. Happiness is not only elusive, but also complex. It doesn’t mean that you won’t feel happy and positive feelings – just that these are fleeting. Our brain is hard wired for negativity and worry as the default state. And an estimated $11 Billion dollar happiness industry is out to convince us all that we should change. Like diet culture and wellness culture, this happiness culture is misappropriating the science in an effort to increase spending.
By all means seek to balance negative thinking with positive thinking, seek to attain the core emotions that you desire, and assess your life based on both hedonic pleasure and eudaemonic meaning. Just don’t get disappointed when you don’t “feel” happy most of the time.
What this means for eating is that we have to think about the ways we “eat our feelings” when those feelings are difficult, as difficult and negative emotions will always be with us. If we take the stance that all emotions are valid and provide valuable data for living our best life, we can begin to reduce the desire to eat as way of soothing or distracting.
Humans Aren’t Designed To Be Happy So Stop Trying | The Conversation