Researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky has examined this set-point:
A full 50 percent of our happiness set-point is due to genetics. 10 percent is affected primarily by circumstances like where we were born and to whom. 40 percent is subject to our influence.
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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.
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. This is also true for fresh flowers or listening to your favorite song.
Gratifications, as well as activities that give a strong sense of meaning to us, are more immune to the effects of hedonic adaptation.
... 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.
This is the primary way Positive Psychology researchers have defined and measured people's happiness and well-being.
It's defined as your evaluations of your own life and your moods and emotions (that's why it's labeled as "subjective").
The "science of happiness" was born as a result of Martin Seligman's (the father of positive psychology) endeavour to approach psychology beyond the idea of restoring normality in individuals and to look at happiness and contentment as ways to not only restore normality, but also to prevent and protect as well as potentially cure.
Positive psychology has three main areas: Generation of both short and long term healthy pleasures, joy obtained through the connection with others and happiness that comes from a meaningful life.