Don’t you ever wonder why the glowing, happy feelings from a big event in your life doesn’t last long? Think about the last big moment in your life, be it graduation, a wedding, or even getting a huge promotion. Got it? Okay, now try to remember how long that tingly, bubbly feeling lasted. It probably wasn’t more than a few weeks, was it? Well some psychologists think they may have the answer to why it doesn’t last.
According to an article in the January issue of Women’s Health Magazine, some psychologists believe these “in the moment” highs don’t last because of something called “hedonistic adaptation”. This is our natural ability to adjust to new circumstances in our lives. Because we are good at adapting to change, our new, big life changes quickly become old news.
One psychologist, Robert BiswasDiener, says that happiness is not about the intensity, but rather the “frequency of positive emotion.” What this means for those trying to figure out why an $8,000 wedding dress (only worn once) didn’t bring a lifetime of reoccurring wedding tingles, is that there are plenty of other opportunities to increase contentment. In fact, these small moments in life can be viewed as little ways to making a happier life. So here are a few ways to “boost your bliss” by focusing on the small things.
Make every day Thanksgiving. Now this doesn’t mean engage in a round of turkey and mashed potato face stuffing each day, but rather take a moment to think about everything that has made you happy recently. This forces you to ask yourself what you are most thankful for. You may find there are little things you have overlooked.
Don’t compare. Just because your coworker won tickets to the Oprah Show, found $20 in the parking lot and got engaged all in the same week doesn’t mean you should compare your successes to hers.
Look at your job in a new light. Experts say that those who believe they are doing what they are destined to do feel more immediate and long-term happiness. In other words, look at your job as a contribution to society. When you start seeing how you are part of a bigger picture, you start enjoying life more.
Avoid the Debbie Downers. On average, every happy friend you have increases your chance of being happy by 9 percent. Just don’t start hanging out with people who think George Lopez is funny.