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We stop seeing as much positive and start complaining.
It is a psychological imperative to fight hedonic adaptation if we want to maximize happiness. v=Dln Ob IFBCY4 I’m not suggesting that criticism and self-focus don’t have a place in the workplace, but I think we’re overdoing it.
When I first started looking into gratitude, I wasn’t expecting much. Sure, having more money can be pretty awesome, but because of hedonic adaptation we quickly get used to it and stop having as much fun and happiness as we did at first. This is why a five-minute a week gratitude journal can make us so much happier.
A five-minute a day gratitude journal can increase your long-term well-being by more than 10 percent. Gratitude improves our health, relationships, emotions, personality, and career.
This also means that we get use to the bad things that happen to us.
Put more simply, we get use to the good things that happen to us.
If it’s thinking about a few things we have to be grateful for today, it will induce the relaxation response, knock us out, and keep us that way. In another study of 400 healthy people, those participants who had higher scores on a gratitude test also had significantly better sleep.
Both are prerequisites for feeling gratitude – someone who feels weak connections with others, and who believes in the illusion of self-sufficiency is unlikely to feel gratitude. I’m a lot better now that I’ve brought gratitude into my life, but I still spend way too much time thinking about myself, and too little thinking about others.
Hedonic adaptation gives unparalleled resiliency and keeps us motivated to achieve ever greater things.
Those who have been disabled have a remarkable ability to rebound – initially they may feel terrible, but after months or years they are on average just as happy as everyone else.
Those who are more materialistic are more likely to relentlessly pursue wealth. Gratitude has caused me to focus less on things that don’t matter, like making money, and more on the things that do, like my family and this blog. Spiritual transcendence is I believe the opposite to also be true, that gratitude spontaneously gives rise to spiritual attribution, helping one feel closer to God or other religious entities.
So while gratitude won’t make you lazy, over your lifetime you may end up earning less money. You may, for example, spend time with friends, family, and your hobbies. I am irreligious, and have found gratitude practices to make my spiritual position difficult – those moments when I feel intense gratitude make me want to believe in a benevolent God.