Friday, November 17, 2006
The Downside of Happiness
I thought producing this week's House Call on happiness would be pretty simple, but as it turns out, happiness is a tricky business. Research shows that happy people live longer, laughing can lower your blood pressure and optimists beat out pessimists in a number of health measures.
Being a perfectionist, I thought perhaps we should strive to be happy all the time - after all it's good for your health! However, our guest, Harvard professor Daniel Gilbert, says not so fast. He says we're not programmed to be happy all the time, so people shouldn't strive for constant happiness. Anxiety, anger, and fear all play critical rolls in our survival. Gilbert's example: If you were happy all the time, you might happily let your child go out at 3 a.m. for bread in a bad part of town.
During Gilbert's interview with Dr. Gupta, he talked about where Americans go wrong in their pursuit of happiness. In fact, he said, we don't even know what makes us happy.
Tune in to House Call this weekend at 8:30 am Eastern and hear what this expert says is the key for finding your bliss.
ABOUT THE BLOGGet a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends -- info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.