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Hedonic adaptation

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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Certain pleasures are more prone to hedonic adaptation. These pleasures can lift your mood quickly, but their effects can be short-lived. You may also get used to them fairly quickly. For example, If you have the same meal every day, you may find it to be less enjoyable by the end of the week....

Researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky has examined this set-point:

  • People who win the lottery are likely to revert to their original levels of happiness after the novelty of the win has worn off.
  • It is also true for those who are in major accidents. People generally tend to return to their pre-accident levels of happiness after a period.

  • Make sure you include several pleasures throughout your day. Get a cup of coffee or call your friend.
  • Alternate your pleasures. This way they always feel new.
  • Make time for your hobbies.
  • Find time for meaningful activities.
  • Savor your positive experienc...

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