Avoid “hedonic Adaptations” by Disrupting Your Daily Routine to Stay Happy
It doesn’t matter what makes you happy, after a while it can get bored. This is due to a concept known as “hedonic adaptation”. Simply put, there is nothing that makes you happy forever. Over time, you get used to it, and you need something else. This is why you need to break your daily routine.
As the blog Barking Up the Wrong Tree explains, we adapt very well to any circumstance over time. Even if we have spent our whole life looking for something, as soon as we get it, we begin to adapt to it. It soon becomes normal. Once this becomes normal, it can get boring. It doesn’t matter that we’ve worked for decades to achieve this, we have it now, so it’s not interesting anymore. To avoid this, University of California professor Sonia Lubomirsky suggests keeping everything new:
Novelty, variety, and surprise can prevent or slow down adaptation. So in terms of relationships, let’s say you get married and get a burst of happiness. Research shows that it takes about two years for people’s happiness levels to return to their pre-wedding levels. This does not mean that you are unhappy with your marriage, but we are getting used to it to some extent. So we want to bring variety, novelty and surprise to marriage in a positive way. Don’t watch Netflix every Friday night; mix. Do different things with your partner. Something that can lead to more surprises, again in a positive way. It’s the same with work. Open up to new opportunities, challenges, risks, learning new things and meeting new people.
Newness and variety are difficult because they require us to disrupt our daily routine. The routines are simple. It’s hard to strive for something else. However, boredom is intense. This can motivate us to take for granted what is in our life that is valuable. Of course, this also needs to be balanced with regular thank you sessions , because let’s face it, a parade of exciting events won’t always be enough.
How to Find Happiness: 3 Secrets of Research | Bark on the wrong tree