Being Prone to Hedonic Adaptation - Deepstash

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How Hedonic Adaptation Robs You of Happiness-and How to Change That

Being Prone to Hedonic Adaptation

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.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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...

Elements of Hedonic Adaptation
  • Shifting adaptation levels: When an individual experiences a slight emotional up or down, and then returns to his or her default level of happiness.
  • Desensitization: When an individual becomes desensitized to a circumstance or situation they no longer have the same reactions that another person might experience. 
  • Sensitization: When an individual is sensitized to a certain situation, they get used to something that they were not previously accustomed to. 
Hedonic Adaptation Critics

Critics view the hedonic adaptation tendency as a generalization that fails to take potentially shifting factors into account.

  • Significant life events such as loss of employment or the end of a major relationship can change one's original level of contentment.
  • Negative events are often more significant than positive ones.
  • Consuming certain medication may also alter the set level of happiness in a person who has mental illness or other clinical problems.
Subjective well-being

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 mo...

Subjective Well-Being components

It consists of 3 parts: positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction.

Positive affect and negative affect are basically your emotions and moods, and life satisfaction refers to the evaluation of your life as a whole (how satisfied you are with your life, what you would change etc).

Measuring Subjective Well-Being

Tracking your own subjective well-being can be very powerful if you keep alongside a journal of your life's events. 

Keep it up for some time and you will see trends emerge. You'll also be able to adjust your activities in order to maximize positive affect and life satisfaction and minimize negative affect.

Positive psychology: the "science of happiness"
Positive psychology: the "science of happiness"

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 r...

The plasticity of the brain

Neuroscience research demonstrates the power of positive psychology:

  • Studies showed that repetitive negative thinking causes one pattern of brain activity, while positive thoughts can produce another.
  • Practices such as gratitude, mindfulness, and physical activity can change certain pathways within the brain.
  • Medication can also stimulate or suppress brain activity. Martin Seligman found a combined treatment plan of medication and therapy can help patients recover sooner.
Positive psychology strategies

Positive psychology treatments focus on four fundamental areas:

  • Strengths: Finding one's inner strength and resilience.
  • Quality of life: Goals and achievements should be underpinned by meaning and purpose.
  • Hope: Ensuring a positive attitude when faced with life's trials and knowing that they have the support to cope.
  • Wellbeing: A sense of environmental mastery, full engagement with the world, and personal satisfaction.