Is the search for happiness a never ending waste of time?

Hi guys, hope your well. We want happiness, right? But happiness is very hard to pin down and focusing on it too much can lead to the dreaded Hedonic Treadmill.

 

Hedonic Treadmill is the idea that the next thing/person/event will make us happy and we will constantly want to keeping getting more and more of this external thing to make us happy.

 

carrot on a stickI’ll give you an example from my own life, where I fell victim to the ‘Hedonic Treadmill’. When I was younger I always wanted a SONY Playstation. I begged my mum to get me one which at the time was relatively expense and she refused. So I started saving the money I earned working part-time at Toys R Us. It took what felt like forever to finally save the money for the Playstation and I was so happy the day I bought it. The happiness I experienced lasted for a few weeks until I would get bored of the current game I was playing, then I’d have to save again for another month and so on. Little did I know that it had taken me so long to save for the Playstation that SONY released the Playstation 2 a few months after I had just bought my console. And so the never ending happiness cycle continues!

 

So the goal is not to focus on happiness, but to focus on wellbeing instead.

Wellbeing can increase or decrease and positive psychologists use term PERMA which are 5 essential elements that you must have in your life to experience lasting well-being.

 

  • P = Positive Emotion. Pleasure, inspiration, love, gratitude etc. Also enjoying yourself in the here and now.

 

  • E = Engagement. When we are truly engaged in a situation, task or project and concentrate on the present we can lose track of time and experience flow.

 

  • R = Relationships (Positive ones) Humans are social beings and good relationship are at the core of this. The better relationships you have the better your well-being.

 

  • M = Meaning. This is comes from serving something bigger than ourselves. Could be God, the universe or a cause that helps benefits humanity.

 

  • A = Accomplishment. Mastering a skill, achieve a goal winning at a sport or taking part at bootcamp 😃. Accomplishment contributes to our well-being massively.

 

Can you find ways to use PERMA in your life? If so I’d love hear about it so feel free post a comment below.

 

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