A new study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies suggests that a large section of the population avoids feelings of happiness and contentment due to cultural beliefs.
Researchers at University of Wellington found that a number of cultures, especially in the Middle East, believe that happiness leads to less than positive outcomes while many cultures in East Asia feel that happiness is an inappropriate emotion to express.
Even people living in the west are not willing to express happiness as they believe it would make them seem selfish, boring or shallow, though western cultures seem to based on maximizing happiness and minimizing sadness.
"One of these cultural phenomena is that, for some individuals, happiness is not a supreme value. Many individuals and cultures do tend to be averse to some forms of happiness, especially when taken to the extreme, for many different reasons", the researchers wrote in their report.