But if all happiness is created equal, and equally opposite to ill-being, then patterns of gene expression should be the same regardless of hedonic or eudaimonic (the results of striving toward meaning and a noble purpose beyond simple self-gratification) well-being. Not so, found the researchers.
Eudaimonic well-being was, indeed, associated with a significant decrease in a systematic shift in gene expression associated with chronic stress. In contrast, hedonic well-being was associated with a significant increase in the gene expression associated with stress. Their genomics-based analyses, the authors reported, reveal the hidden costs of purely hedonic well-being.
Read the full, original story here: Human cells respond in healthy, unhealthy ways to different kinds of happiness