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• A new study found that people who actively sought out happiness were more likely to experience it than those who did not.
• The study showed that the effects of „active seeking“ on well-being and satisfaction with life lasted for up to a year.
• The authors of the study concluded that intentional effort is necessary in order to experience lasting happiness.

The Power of Intentional Happiness

The Study

A recent study published in the journal Emotion examined how active seeking of happiness affects long-term well-being and satisfaction with life. The researchers conducted a randomized, controlled trial involving 348 adults over a period of one year. Participants were divided into two groups, an intervention group and a control group, with the intervention group being instructed to actively seek out activities and experiences they believed would bring them joy and increase their overall sense of well-being.


At the end of the yearlong trial, the researchers found that participants in the intervention group reported significantly higher levels of overall well-being and life satisfaction than those in the control group. Furthermore, these effects persisted even after accounting for pre-existing differences between the two groups in terms of age, gender, education level, income level, marital status, employment status and baseline levels of depression or anxiety.


The results suggest that intentional effort is necessary in order to experience lasting happiness. This finding is especially important given recent research suggesting that people have become increasingly passive when it comes to pursuing pleasure or positive emotions; instead relying on external sources such as drugs or alcohol to induce states of temporary euphoria rather than putting forth effort towards cultivating real joy from within themselves or their environment.


Overall, this research demonstrates that actively seeking out activities which lead to greater feelings of wellbeing can result in significantly higher levels of life satisfaction over longer periods time compared to those who do not make an effort towards improving their moods intentionally.