It is the tendency to go back to your normal level of happiness after a positive or a negative event.
We work toward a promotion or a specific number of followers on Twitter because we think it will make us happy. But when we reach our goals, we are satisfied for a short time only to get back to our usual level of happiness.
MORE IDEAS FROM Hedonic Adaptation
Don't just look forward to the outcome. If you're a writer, don't merely aim for publishing a book. Enjoy writing it. Or, if you're trying to lose weight, instead of only looking at the scale, enjoy feeling stronger and fitter.
If you don't enjoy the process, it is possible that you are chasing the wrong goal.
Most of us focus on setting big goals, such as working towards a college degree, running a marathon, or getting a promotion. We spend much time working towards the goal that will only make us happy for a short while before we return to our normal happiness levels.
Instead, set smaller goals to experience more frequent moments of happiness.
Studies show that strong ties with family, friends, and a broader community is an indicator of long-term happiness and health.
It does not mean that we should not pursue big goals, but we should also make time to attend to our relationships.
Economists used to believe that people will always choose the option that maximizes their well-being. But people act against their rational self-interest all the time.
We procrastinate and eat junk food and say yes to the things we don't have time for. Two Israeli psychologists found that we predictably make the same mental mistakes that can be avoided if we are aware of them.
... also referred to as hedonic treadmill, is defined as "the observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes" - Positive Psychology Program.
After a while, people become used to changes in their lives. The enjoyment or unhappiness that follows certain life events gradually wears off, returning each person to their "default" emotional state.
Hedonic adaptation refers to people’s common tendency to return to a determined level of happiness regardless of life’s ups and downs.
Hedonic adaptation is often referred to as “the hedonic treadmill” because we always end up where we started.
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