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Happiness Isn’t Always What It’s Cracked Up to Be

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0  Updated at 8:05 pm, April 4th, 2012 By: ABC Digital
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iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) — “Don’t worry, be happy” may seem like good advice, but studies show that being too happy can actually backfire on you.

Yale University psychology professor June Gruber pulls no punches in revealing the downside of overdoing happiness, warning it can make people more gullible and selfish as well as less creative and unsuccessful.

Not only that but Gruber says, “Research indicates that very high levels of positive feelings predict risk-taking behaviors, excess alcohol and drug consumption, binge eating, and may lead us to neglect threats.”

Studies suggest those who are happier at a younger age get held back professionally because they tend to quit school earlier, leaving them at a disadvantage compared to those who seek more education and find better paying jobs.  What’s more, happy people who have jobs are usually less inclined to switch careers, which may again hinder them from earning more money elsewhere.

Another problem with being too happy is that studies have shown that happiness junkies tend to make more stereotypic judgment calls, for instance, believing that work done by a male is better than the same job performed by a woman even if the results are identical.

Eventually, it became a vicious circle as the more people strive for happiness, the worse they feel in the obsessive goal to satisfy the question, “Am I having fun yet?”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio