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Happiness – why do we get bored?

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Happiness – why do we get bored?

Post by era1213 on Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:16 am

Have you ever wondered why you get bored of the things you know you really like? Why your relationship “lost” it’s spark after a while? Why your job seems less exciting over time? The good thing to know is it’s not just you. Everyone experiences these things and its something that hardwired into us as human beings. Quite simply, we adapt.

A lot of people have this idea that once they reach a certain goal, meet a certain person or attain a certain thing they will be infinitely more happy forever. This is known as the Hedonic Treadmill, or Hedonic Adaptation – once I achieve X.Y and Z I will be happy. However, these things we aim for don’t always seem to make us feel as happy as we would expect, and never for as long as we thought they might.

This is simply because we are designed to adapt as human beings. It is part of our resilience and something we need to be aware of. Just as we get over great tragedies in life and go on to live happy, fulfilling lives, the same applies to moments of great happiness. The human brain adapts to this new level of Happiness and it slowly becomes less and less.

It’s like buying that new car we’ve always wanted. Every day you climb in, smell that new car smell and can’t believe you’re in your new car. You get a little jump of excitement just seeing it. However, like that smell, the sense of accomplishment and joy at having the new car fades. One day you just get in and drive to work. You’re adapted to the situation now.

It is this same natural adaptation that causes us to feel like our relationships lose their spark over time. The first few months with a new partner is always described as the “Honeymoon phase”. The new euphoric feelings we have cause us to raise our level of Happiness. However, with time, we adapt and that initial feeling seems to disappear.

There are ways we can slow this adaptation process. The one would be through appreciation and gratitude. The moment we start taking things for granted, like that new car, we begin to lose appreciation for it. Showing gratitude and appreciation to your partner or spouse will not only make you both feel good but will keep your relationship from falling into a rut.

Another way to slow the adaptation process is through novelty, challenges and surprises in your life. It is a proven fact that women adapt quicker in relationships and respond well to novelty and challenges. So, mix things up. Choose activities you can do together, ones that you both enjoy. This will not only slow the rate of adaptation but make you grow as a couple.

Adaptation in the work place can result in a loss of job satisfaction, boredom and low productivity. We need to constantly be thinking of ways to improve our effectiveness at work, learn a new skill or try something a little different in order to keep us feeling like we aren’t stuck at work.

Adaptation is a natural human process and something we shouldn’t be afraid of. By being aware of the process we can take steps to slow it down and increase the happiness in our lives.
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Curious Child
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