Is Marriage the Key to Lasting Happiness?

Happiness in marriage is not always guaranteed states Ed Diener.

People who are married are not happier than those who are single, reports Ed Diener, professor at the University of Illinois. Despite a popular idea that marriage will increase personal happiness, according to Diener, this isn’t always the case, as people eventually return to their “happy set point” (aka happiness baseline).

As a result, marriage does not always improve one’s life. In fact, most people are no happier after marriage than they were before. This result was obtained after a study that looked at how people react to both happy and negative life situations and examined life satisfaction levels of over 24,000 adults in Germany. The findings clearly show that, contrary to popular belief, marriage does not lead to increased happiness due to the previously mentioned “happy set point.”

“It is true that some people are more content than others. And while there are things you can do to improve your happiness, Diener points out that “being married isn’t a cure for changing your set point.”

The term “hedonic leveling” was coined by the study’s authors to describe the process of returning to one’s set point, which has a balancing effect on people’s overall happiness levels. “When you are overjoyed, there are forces that bring you back to a more regular level,” Diener explains. “People are generally satisfied, although not always ecstatic.”

According to the study’s findings, respondents’ happiness levels increased before and after marriage, but the gain was tiny – around one-tenth of a point on an 11-point scale – and was followed by a return to previous levels of happiness.

When something bad happens, people react adversely, but they heal with time, according to Diener. According to this study, even widows and widowers recovered to the level of contentment they had before their spouse died after about five years.

Roman Russo: Author of Optimal Happiness

Roman Russo: Author of Optimal Happiness

Roman Russo wasn't always happy and struggled with his own negative emotions, anxieties, and depression, until one day he pledged to resolve this part of life, whatever it took. The journey took 6 years, but it was worth it. Today, Roman considers himself to be one of the happiest people alive, part of the 1% of the happiest elite, and he now teaches others a working and universal happiness formula to reach a similar goal. He offers his best advice on Optimal Happiness social media, newsletter, blog, and books, and teaches a complete and unconditional happiness formula in his online courses.

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“The problem is that of optimization,” states Roman Russo, author of Optimal Happiness: The Fastest & Surest Way To Reach Your Happiest Potential. There is plenty of advice on how to be happier or less sad, but no one is speaking about how to become the happiest we can be. And this is the difference that makes all the difference. By not looking at our maximum potential for happiness, we fall short of achieving it. After all, we all have hundreds of ideas on how to be happier or less sad, but most people still feel like they are not living their best lives. As such, Optimal Happiness explores the question of how to be the happiest we can be, regardless of who we are, where we are from, and what our life circumstances are. It proposes a complete and unconditional formula for happiness and explains how you too can become happy today and forever, inviting you to join the 1% happiness elite and become one of the happiest people alive.

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