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