Cracked.com has this great article called “5 scientific reasons your idea of happiness is wrong” and it is really a great piece on the issue. In the end, the article manages to touch the truth of the matter
The very act of trying to achieve happiness made people unhappy because of the anxiety they felt when they failed. They were happier when they weren’t trying. You know, like if somebody had told them it was out of their hands, or that they should focus on doing good things and declare the result to be “happiness,” regardless of what it looked like.
This is very similar to what I’ve been saying myself for a while: Explicitly striving for happiness is a recipe for failure. Happiness is not an attainable goal, primarily because of how our own brains work. Rather, the on best way to go about life, is to simply strive as much as possible to avoid pain and discomfort.The feeling of general happiness will naturally bubble up once this is achieved.
The more articles and studies I read on the matter, the more it seems that modern science is merely proving Epicurism true.