Happiness (3/3): Why We Get Bored and What To Do About It

May 02, 2013
Oh, us humans are so predictable aren't we? Just victims of evolution and circumstance, right? Wrong! Break away from your hamster wheel and find the joy that's right under your nose.

Oh, us humans are so predictable aren’t we? Just victims of evolution and circumstance, right? Wrong! Break away from your hamster wheel and find the joy that’s right under your nose.

 

This is part 3 of a 3 part series:

Happiness (1/3): What to Understand and How to Take Control

Happiness (2/3): Where to Invest Your Dollars in Happiness

 

Why do you get bored with the things you like? Why do your relationships lose that spark? Why does your job get less and less satisfying over time? Because we adapt.

 

Hedonic Adaptation

Many people have this idea that once they reach a certain goal or meet a certain person, they will find happiness and it will just stay like that forever. This is known as the Hedonic Treadmill, or Hedonic Adaptation.

The idea is that once I achieve X,Y, and Z, I will be happy. However, often when we achieve these goals and they fall short of the expectations we have for them. Sometimes the goal doesn’t give us the level of happiness we want and/or the length of that happiness doesn’t last as long as we predicted.

It’s like buying that new car you’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 new car smell, the sense of accomplishment and joy of having the new car fades. One day you just get in and drive to work. You’re adapted to the situation.

 

The Honeymoon Phase

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 are always awesome- birds chirping, the whole nine yards. The new euphoric feelings flood us with happiness.

However, with time, we adapt and what happens to those feelings? They went to the same place our new car smell ran off to.

 

Be Appreciative

Don’t worry, there are ways we can slow or even halt this adaption process. Be appreciative what you have. The brilliance of everything shines bright with gratitude. This is powerful practice that can protect and enrich new and existing relationships.

The next chance you get, tell your partner three things you appreciate about them. Watch how the favor comes back threefold

 

Spice Things Up

Another way to challenge adaptation in your relationships is through novelty, challenges, and surprises in your shared life. 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.

In your work environment, adaptation can lead to loss of job satisfaction, boredom, and low productivity. Challenge yourself and think of ways to improve your effectiveness at work. Learn a new skill or try something a little different in order to keep from feeling…well, bored.

 

 

So Remember

Adaptation got us humans where we are today. Thanks adaptation. But when it’s not working for you, remember that there are steps you can take to challenge yourself and bring out the joy in every relationship and situation.

 

Ready to dissolve stress, frustration, and unhappiness? Want more help finding your inner peace and unconditional well-being? Then visit:

Awaken Through Mindfulness

 

Did you enjoy this series of articles? If so, visit some of our other series:

The Science of Your Subconscious

The Surprising Mindsets of Success

The Motivation Equation

Great Goal Setting

Release Your Limiting Beliefs

 

Leave us a comment below and let us know how you avoid boredom (or fail trying J)

 

 

Comments

  1. Lisa Souza says:

    Thank you for reminding me that paying attention to the great things in your life, and really allowing yourself to notice and feel grateful for them, brings you right back into joy and zest for living!

  2. saif khan says:

    In case of feeling boredom, first I analyse the situation, come to know the cause and then engage myself in some other activity of my interest to avoid boredom .

  3. Phillip says:

    I get bored and feel unhappy because of my disability. It stops me from doing alot. What can change that ?

    • @Philip
      Think of your situation as an opportunity and blessings. Some people are worst than your situation. Read inspirational books, go with people who can inspire you, find an organization that has same as yours. Think and be creative. What do you want to do now? Then step on! Be it big or small doesn’t matter as long as you want and love it! Pray for it.

    • Rishan says:

      Hello Phillip,

      Sorry for the delayed response. What I can suggest is that you focus on being grateful. e.g. giving thanks that you are alive. I would suggest that you divert your attention – give thanks to what you have… then focus on your strength or check your resources and what you can maximize to achieve what you want in life.

  4. faye medrano says:

    thanks Rishan for sharing this write up . Really learned a lot from you. thanks for reminding us to be more appreciative and be grateful. If you are going to ask me, to avoid boredom especially am always on my own when I get home , I always try to occupy myself to keep me busy all the time. there are so many things to do at home..

  5. Rishan says:

    Thanks Faye and Tia for sharing your thoughts.. :)

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