How Can We Be Happier? Experts Say Stop Worrying About Happiness in the First Place

In this video, The Atlantic asked a group of experts what we can do to be happier. Turns out our obsession with happiness might actually be hurting us.

Last month The Atlantic released this selection of interviews with professors, psychologists, and journalists in which they asked what individuals can do—or not do—to be happier and more content.

"There are more important things than being happy."

Some of the tips (like slowing down, carving out more relaxation time, and investing in meaningful relationships) are ideas we’ve covered here at YES! for years. Perhaps the most revolutionary idea to come out of these interviews was also the simplest: Stop worrying about being happy all the time in the first place.

“There are more important things than being happy,” says Paul Bloom, a professor of psychology at Yale University. “I’d rather be good than happy. I’d rather help people even if that didn’t make me happy, than be happy and be a selfish jerk.”

Maybe we’re too obsessed with the notion of happiness. What if we became more content with our full spectrum of emotions, and less preoccupied with chasing a single one?