2 kinds of happiness? I don't think so.
It could be semantics, it could be a misunderstanding, or it could just be absurdity; but as an expert on “Happy,” I have to address an article from CNN Health that says there are 2 kinds of happinesses.
If you have been delving into this Happy to the Max site at all, then you have read that happiness IS something that you have at a cellular level. It is at the core of your being...and if you are truly, 100% happy, then you don’t need outside stimuli to feed it.
In the CNN article, they basically say the same thing, however...THEN they say that using “things” to stimulate yourself are another form of happiness, “-- eating that giant cupcake or buying that fabulous pair of shoes --.”
Doing things like that don’t go down to the core of happiness...there IS a difference! Thus, the bee in my bonnet!
The thing is, in the CNN article, they actually SAY that the one kind of happiness, Eudaimonic, is better than the other kind of happiness, Hedonic.
Why does this bother me? Because, in essence, they’re telling the world that they can consider themselves happy if they use stimulants. Sure, stimulants --eating chocolate, smelling flowers, making money-- can make you feel good, which is a component of happiness, but it isn’t true happiness. Those things are only one of the ingredients that contribute to making a person happy.
If we continued along with this logic, then alcohol, drugs, and other stimulants that are used for temporary pleasure, and are NOT GOOD FOR YOU, can make you happy...which we know is NOT the truth! They lead down a road of destruction and misery...(who’s happy now?). But if people are being told that those things can make them happy, as suggested by the CNN article, then they will not understand the meaning of TRUE happiness. They will keep pursuing the wrong kind of “happiness.”
The reason that we see so many failed marriages, destroyed relationships, and unhappy human beings is because people are trying to use temporary pleasures to create a long term happiness.
Ah, there’s the semantics.
Long term happiness vs. temporary pleasure. The CNN article basically proves that long term happiness is what people need and that the other kind of stimulus causes stress and anxiety.
So why are they calling it happiness?
Don’t get me wrong, Jen Christensen, who wrote the article, did a great job of reporting. It’s just that the term “happiness,” nowadays, is being thrown around like an old bag of moldy tangerines.
In essence, this is what they are saying:
A person who has worked very hard to make it through school; did the work, passed the tests, excelled in the educational process...becomes the Valedictorian. Then there is the student who skips class, doesn’t turn in the assignments, and gets a very low GPA. Oh, they DID get a good score on one of their tests...so they become a Valedictorian, too.
Is that right? Is that fair? Is that even possible?
That is the difference between these two kinds of “happiness” It is not right, it is not fair, and it is not possible to equate them both to “happiness.”
It’s like calling an orange an apple because it is round and it’s a fruit. Saying it does NOT make it true, just like calling temporary pleasure, happiness. It is NOT true!
In the end, in the CNN article, they say that the Hedonic well-being (temporary happiness) causes the cells in your body to have “a result similar to what people who are depressed or experience great stress have.”
Does that sound like happiness to you?
THEN DON'T CALL IT HAPPINESS!!
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