Hedonic Adaptation

I Will Be Happy When__________________.

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happy smile guy


I can’t begin to tell you how often I have played this game. You know, “the happiness game” where I become fixated on this “major” situation that may or may not be so serious. But it is to me at the time, and if only I can accomplish the goal or avoid the calamity then I’ll be sooo happy.

Have you ever had a “major” thing, be it a goal, desire or wish that you fantasized and dreamed about daily, even to the point of obsession?

I bet that with enough sweat, hard work and tenacity you reached that major goal just like I have. Maybe you bathed in euphoria afterward, but how long did the high last?

According to psychological research, there’s a name to the drop off in happiness after having achieved or reached your coveted goal. The phenomenon is called hedonic adaptation and it’s essentially when we adapt to whatever it is we’ve achieved regardless of how grand the result. In fact, the idea is you return back to the same emotional state before your big reward. Read the rest of this entry »

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