Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hedonna What?!

Good morning, class! Today we’ll learn a new phrase that can make you happier, healthier, smarter and….MIKE!!! STOP TALKING TO DAVID, TURN AROUND AND SIT UP! IF YOU DON’T STOP TALKING IN CLASS YOU LITTLE BRAT I’M GOING TO TEAR YOU A…..ahem…now…let’s get back to our lesson.

Today’s new phrase is, hedonic adaptation.

Hedonic means characterized or related to pleasure.

Simply put, hedonic adaptation means that we get adapted to, get used to, begin to take for granted, good things and we don’t appreciate and enjoy them as much as we did when we first attained them.

The current issue of Psychology Today notes a study in the journal, Social, Psychological and Personality Science, that offers four strategies for helping us continue to appreciate the good things in life.

-        Give it up. Jordi Quoidbach, one of the study’s authors suggests using a temporary-deprivation strategy for reappreciating everything from chocolate to sex.
-        Take a break. This sounds like the suggestion above, but Quoidbach suggests stopping the activity and restarting a little later. Stop in the middle of a television show you like and come back to it in a few hours or the next day. Take multiple short trips instead of one long vacation so you don’t have time to adjust to the vacation lifestyle.
-        Relish amateur status. If you are really good at something or you’ve been doing it a long time it’s easy to get jaded. Try to go back to the feelings/places/mindset/people/situations you were in when you first started.
-        Revisit your life without. Sonya Lyubomirsky, author of The Myths of Happiness, says we should picture our lives without the thing we’ve come to take for granted. How does the picture look? How do you feel about the loss?

BONUS PHRASE: Psychologists talk about habituating to happiness, essentially the same thing as hedonic adaptation. The thing/activity/person/feeling that made us happy becomes a habit…and we take it for granted.

Take a little break. Imagine your life without the thing/activity/person/feeling. Chances are that it won’t take long before you miss it and want it back. And when you get it back you’ll appreciate it a little more.

Just don’t forget that this is an ongoing process so it might not be a bad idea to plan for little breaks every now and then.


MIKE!!! IT’S ABOUT TIME THIS CLASS TOOK A BREAK FROM YOU! DAVID, YOU, TOO!! BOTH OF YOU, GO TO THE OFFICE AND TELL PRINCIPAL WARD IF HE DOESN’T….ahem…sorry class…now, back to our reading.

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