How Hedonic Adaptation Robs You of Happiness-and How to Change That
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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.
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.
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.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
... 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...
Critics view the hedonic adaptation tendency as a generalization that fails to take potentially shifting factors into account.
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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...
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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