Reviews | When Michigan defeated Ohio State, I cried tears of joy

He is right. During the football game my mind never left the stage. Indeed, during particularly tense sporting events, I find it difficult to eat or drink, because my body is also entirely devoted to the task of the game.

But let’s be clear: the joy of a college football game is not the same as the joy of getting married or having a child. (Or is it?) Dr. Waldinger told me that there are three basic types of happiness. The first is hedonic, which is exactly what it sounds like. “It’s like, ‘I’m happy right now because I’m drinking a good cup of coffee or I’m at a good party and having an interesting conversation.'” Or, say, winning a football game after ten time. years of suffering through losses that have been absolutely heartbreaking.

Then there is eudaimonic well-being. It is the happiness that results from doing something meaningful. Dr Waldinger said you could put your 2 year old to bed, and she wants you to read her “Goodnight Moon” for the 10th time, and you’re exhausted. “It’s the last thing you want to do, but you can’t think of anything more meaningful than reading your 2 year old to help him fall asleep.”

Finally, there is what he called “psychological wealth,” a form of happiness in which people enjoy interesting experiences – parasailing, traveling to exotic places. We all like to have some of each of the three forms of happiness, says Dr. Waldinger, but some of us value some more than others. I think I know where I am.

I also wanted to know: could I squeeze my hedonic happiness out of the fact that Michigan won a very important football game and make it last?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. No matter how many times I watch reruns of the game and bother people who probably don’t care with trivial game stats that is, Hassan Haskins ran 169 yards and scored five touchdowns.

“Happiness is a transitory phenomenon,” Dr Waldinger told me. We all know this to be true, of course, despite my hope that this is not always the case. And sometimes we don’t even know why we feel good one minute and bad the next.


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