The Dark Side of Hope

You’ve probably heard people say that we should have reasonable goals and, you know what, they’re right. If you have reasonable expectations about the world around you, you can have a happier life – some new research backs this idea up by studying happiness in people after a major surgery.

GIVING up hope can actually make some people living with a serious illness happier, according to US researchers who have found a “dark side of hope”.

A study by the University of Michigan Health Center for Behavioral and Decision Sciences in Medicine involved a group of adults who had their colons removed.

In total 41 people were told their colostomy was reversible and they could undergo a second operation to reconnect their bowels after several months and get rid of their colostomy bag.

Another 30 individuals were told that the colostomy was permanent.

The study, published in the latest issue of Health Psychology, found the second group, the one without hope, reported being happier over the next six months than those with reversible colostomies.

“We think they were happier because they got on with their lives,” researcher Peter Ubel said.

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