Ever notice how happiness levels don’t seem to change much in the long run? Taking effortful actions can help to change this.
Two years ago, I took the Coursera course The Science of Wellbeing with Laurie Santos from Yale University. My key takeaways were that the things that we think will make us happy like getting a promotion, getting married, or buying a luxury home, generally don’t increase long-term happiness.
This is due to the psychological principal of hedonic adaptation. Like how we adapt to smells and don’t notice them as much after a few minutes, we each have a baseline happiness level that we return to despite changes in circumstances. This has been show in a study of lottery winners and people who became paraplegics.