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Want to be happy? Don’t think about it

An interesting article from Katrina Onstad recently appeared in Toronto’s Globe and Mail about “embracing uncertainty.”

It’s a growing theory called pegged the “ironic process theory” by Harvard professor of psychology Daniel Wegner. It can be summed up beautifully by journalist Oliver Burkeman in his book called The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, as “the effort to try to feel happy is actually precisely the thing that makes us miserable.”

That statement can be further explained as psychologist, Gabriele Oettingen who studied and found “the removal of obstacles through positive thinking can actually lull people into the false sensation that success has already been achieved.” It’s basically covering up what’s eating them inside, letting it fester until it finally explodes. As much as this happens within people until a breakdown occurs, it happens in society as well.

In Barbara Ehrenreich’s book Bright-Sided, she argues that the “mindset of relentless optimism fostered the conditions for the collapse of the economy in 2008.” Economists ignored signs, trying to be positive that things would turn around, but they never did.

So if you’re happy, and you don’t know it, maybe you need to talk to someone at Hope Counseling.