How to Minimize Hedonic Adaptation - Deepstash

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

How to Minimize Hedonic Adaptation

  • 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 experiences. Keep a journal and write about three things you enjoyed every day.
  • Take note of your happiness levels. Make time for whatever you can do to lift your mood.

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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.
Hedonic Adaptation: Eternal Dissatisfaction

When we obtain our desires, needs and wants, we quickly get accustomed to it, taking those shiny toys for granted, and easily getting bored with them. We mistakenly look for happin...

Our Happiness Formula Is Wrong

We have, since the beginning, a wrong formula implanted in our minds about the pursuit of happiness. We think if we do amazing work, attain big success, then we will be happy eventually.

The reality is that new goals are constantly on the horizon, and our so-called happiness keeps getting pushed further and further away. This leads to a feeling of emptiness, not happiness or contentment when a goal is fulfilled.

Happiness Comes First, Then Success

The real formula for success is to be happy first. If you are happy, and your work is great as a result, excellence is assured, which leads to success.

A happy person gravitates towards positivity, intelligence, creativity and better energy, and success then has no choice but to be associated with the person.

Count your blessings

Spend 5 to 10 minutes at the end of each day writing in detail about three things that went well that day, large or small, and also describing why you think they happened.

Mental subtraction

You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone. 

Consider the many ways in which important, positive events in your life—such as a job opportunity or educational achievement—could have never taken place, and then reflecting on what your life would be like without them.

Savor

We have a tendency to adapt to pleasurable things—a phenomenon called “hedonic adaptation”—and appreciate them less and less over time. 

We can interrupt this process by trying the Give it Up practice, which requires temporarily giving up pleasurable activities and then coming back to them later, this time with greater anticipation and excitement.