How to make happiness last

How to make happiness last

by Dr. Happy 

Did you know that our ability to adapt is both one of the best and worst things about being human? It's fantastic for when we need to be resilient and to cope with change or difficulty; but it works against us when times are good and when we're achieving because in short…we get used to the good stuff! This is what some researchers have referred to as the "hedonic treadmill"; that experience when we're running and running, accumulating more and more, but not actually getting anywhere. This is why despite increasing affluence and wealth most people don't become significantly happier. But the good news is, there's a solution, and if you keep reading below we've set you a challenge this week to help you combat hedonic adaptation and make happiness last!


Your challenge this week, therefore, is to combat adaptation to positive events by trying some or all of the following, each and every day:

  • Actively plan more positive experiences – this way, even if you do get used to some you'll have more to enjoy

  • Consciously increase the variety in your life – make an effort to try new things and/or to do old things in new ways

  • Ensure your expectations are realistic – excessive aspirations can contribute to disappointment and frustration which obviously, works against happiness

  • Practice appreciation and gratitude – be thankful for all the good in your life; focus more on what you have and less on what you don't have

So there it is…we're confident that if you utilise one or more of these strategies each day for the next week you'll enjoy more happiness; and we'd love to hear how you fare with it so as you proceed through the week share your experiences with us all on The Happiness Institute's Facebook Page HERE

And PS: if you want to have some fun with this we've just begun a collaboration with InvivoPlay – an app and website set up to facilitate coaching challenges like this one! You can register for FREE and you can see my first challenge (described above) HERE. Note also that you can download a free smartphone app (iPhone and Android) which makes it even easier to complete the challenges and record your experiences on the go!