So, I’m almost done with this 56-page Positive Psychology book by Hans Henrik Knoop. Lol I want to say I’m a slow reader, but I’m not – this book just makes me have to re-read pages to understand it! I made it to the health section, but what I found even more interesting was a section about hedonic adaptation, which means:
“you get used to good things; they gradually “become the norm” so that you become blind to pleasant and well-functioning things – which seen from the outside could make you seem like an ungrateful wretch.” -HHK
It goes on a little more to talk about, how you may see yourself from the inside during those moments you ask yourself why you are not happier than you are. This was enlightening to me, not because I’ve never heard this before, because I have, but more so, it was wonderful to read that yet another psychologist has to remind us to be grateful for things. Don’t quote me on this, but I believe it was the Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan that went into more detail about this idea, in regards to: you are happiest when planning something or the anticipation of something. Sort of like planning a trip or shopping.. it’s in the doing that is the highlight versus getting to the destination, or taking objects out of a bag. There have been studies on mental outlook and emotional happiness when comparing these stages, i.e. the doing/planning vs the having. Positive Psychology also mentions this idea, though not as thorough, but the same idea of attaining something versus anticipating it.
I am riding in this boat right now.. I literally just said to a dear friend of mine recently in a conversation, “this is why I can’t have nice things”. Because for me, I am excited about getting something or doing something, but once it comes, I’m like – ok what now? Not only that, my mental state has brought me to a point of going further in the idea that, “something good has happened, now lets prepare for the bad”. I know where these feelings come from, as I wrote earlier in the month, but it still makes me sad. Because if you know me at all, I am probably one of the most grateful people out there. Literally in my 5min journal app (these apps!) every morning it asks me what I’m grateful for.. and the first is always God, second is always “Today”. Seriously, I know that sounds a little lame, but I am that person who reminds people.. there could be the alternative – so be grateful for now, it’s all we have. And maybe my stress has inflicted this, not-as-grateful feeling, or vise versa. Either way, reading another book that discusses this was a lovely reminder.
**Honestly, for those of you reading, if you get a chance, I highly, HIGHLY recommend the Gratitude Diaries. One of my absolute, favorite motivational books.
I can honestly go on forever about gratitude and gratefulness and how they create happiness/positivity, but I’ll leave you with the basic idea of how Positive Psychology simply explained it:
Remember what you have, even after the planning/buying/anticipating is over. And be grateful for the simple things, always find them fascinating, don’t allow yourself to see them as “normal”. Because normalcy is relative when there are still countries and people without “basics” such as clean water.
When you have the mindset of gratefulness, positivity usually follows close behind 🙂