How do you envisage the pursuit of happiness?
For many, it is a relentless journey, and the more you put in, the more you get out.
While this kind of attitude may work for some, the latest scientific research suggests that it can also seriously backfire for many people – leading, for instance, to feelings of stress, loneliness, and personal failure. According to this view, happiness is best seen as kind of timid bird: the harder you strive to catch it, the further it flies away.
虽然这种态度可能适用于某些人，但最新的科学研究表明，它也可能严重挫败许多人—— 导致人们感到如压力，孤独和个人失败。 根据这样一种观点，幸福应该被看作一种胆小的鸟：你越努力抓住它，它就会飞得越远。
Iris Mauss, now at the University of California, Berkeley, was one of the first psychologists to explore the idea scientifically.
She says she was inspired by the sheer volume of self-help books that have been published in the US in last couple of decades, many of which presented happiness as the sine qua non of existence. “Wherever you look, you see books about how happiness is good for you, and how you basically shouldmake yourself happier, almost as a duty,” she says.
“People might set very high standards for their own happiness as a function of this – they may think they should be happy all the time, or extremely happy, and that can set people up to feel disappointed with themselves, that they fall short – and that could have these self-defeating effects.”
“为此，人们可能会为自己的幸福设定很高的标准 —— 他们可能会认为他们应该一直都很快乐，或者极度幸福，而这会让人对自己感到失望，为自己没法获得幸福而失望—— 而这可能会造成自我打击。”
Mauss points out that a lot of research has found that people who take a more “accepting” attitude to negative feelings – rather than constantly trying to fight them as the enemy of our wellbeing – actually end up more satisfied with their life over the long-term.