Is ‘Celebrity Worship Syndrome’ making you miserable?

The newly-coined condition has been linked to “poorer psychological wellbeing, anxiety and depression”.

Most positive psychologists agree that the factor that most influences your level of well being is your genes, which you cannot change. That said, just because your happiness baseline is for the most part genetically determined does not mean that you cannot become happier.

While 50 per cent of your happiness is influenced by your genes, 10 per cent is influenced by life circumstances, such as age, gender, social class and the community you live in. They maky only such a small difference to your level of happiness, and probably not as much as you might think. Even so, there are ways you can become happier regardless of your circumstance.

The remaining 40 per cent shows us a large portion of your happiness is completely within your control…

How to avoid celebrity worship

The increasing obsession with famous people, be it supermodels, film stars or athletes, has led psychologists to name it as a medical condition: celebrity worship syndrome.

There are two avenues of thought – one that suggests that this is perfectly healthy, evolutionary behaviour, known more popularly as the survival of the fittest. The other perspective is that this is an entirely unhealthy condition whereby, because people have trouble forming lasting, trusting relationships with ordinary people, they prefer to live out their own lives through the lives of their chosen celebrity.

Other studies suggest that even ‘low level’ celebrity worship reflects poorer psychological wellbeing, of greater anxiety and depression. So if you find that you’re spending increasing time following the lives of your favourite pop stars or actors, then it’s probably wise to take a step back and consider using your time in a way that is more likely to make you happy.

This is an extract from Live Happy – 100 Simple Ways to Fill Your Life with Joy (Modern Books).