When we interviewed Dr. Stephen Schueller to learn the basics of positive psychology, he also offered insights into how we sometimes stand in the way of our happiness due to misconceptions, biases, and a lack of mindfulness.
Dr. Schueller is a professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and member of the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies. (This is the second part of our interview, presented in edited highlights. Read the first part here).
1. We’re too dismissive of relationships and positive emotions.
Positive psychology has a lot within it which is the advice our grandmother would give us: How do we live a good life? You express gratitude, you maintain optimism, you practice kindness, you focus on relationships.
We often don’t think grandmother knows best and do our own thing, and that gets us into trouble. We often pursue things like money, bigger houses, cars — material possessions — when experiences are actually much more stronger determinants of our happiness.