The glory of acquisition starts to dim with use, eventually changing to boredom as the item no longer elicits even a bit of excitement.
The lynchpin of consumerism – the tacks that hold the entire system together – is this message: you need to change what you are/what you look like/what you have/what you put into your body. And social media has provided a really handy ‘ keep up with the Kardashians ’ vehicle.
The paper presents powerful evidence that random acts of kindness and gratitude practices elevate well - being, big time. This ‘contradicts the idea of an unchangeable baseline for happiness’ the paper reports.
People often mistakenly think that you just “ choose ” to be happy , ’ says Dr Korb . ‘ But that’s not how it works . You have to choose things that make you happy . ’ And the clincher is , he says , these things are frequently not what we are told will make us happy . They’re oftentimes ordinary drudgery , rather than extraordinary hedonism . They’re things like meeting deadlines , going to the gym rather than swerving it , not eating junk and not spending your disposable income on designer trainers .
Life is so constructed that the event does not , cannot , will not , match the expectation . - Charlotte Brontë
What isn’t as widely known is that some experts think that only 50 per cent of our happiness is pre - determined , while 10 per cent is circumstance , and the remaining 40 per cent is influenced by what we do ( ‘ intentional activity ’ ) . And one of the ways we can change that malleable 40 per cent is undoubtedly : gratitudes . There are hundreds , maybe even thousands of studies that back this up .
a ‘ thank you ’ letter delivered a happiness boost to the sender that lasted a whole month .
‘ Some research shows that gratitude letters can be even more powerful than lists , ’ says Professor Lyubomirsky . ‘ Even if you don’t send them to the people they’re about , the letters are often complex , detailed and rich . ’
Just as a photographer finds a focal point in a picture, and gets it pin-sharp, blurring the rest of the scene, that’s what we can do too. Fuzz the bad; sharpen the good.
Gratitude is just a way of adding to your invincible summer , a mental utopia all of us have the power to create . The existentialist Albert Camus wrote about an “ invincible summer ” that exists in all of us – deep positive memories that can carry us through difficult times.
‘ The research participants who had the ability to lean fully into joy only shared one variable in common … gratitude . They practised gratitude … I get so busy sometimes chasing the extraordinary moments that I don’t pay attention to the ordinary moments . The moments that if taken away , I would miss more than anything . ’ Brené Brown , The Call to Courage , Netflix
The pleasure of acquisition is greater than that of possession . Look at the clothes in your wardrobe . D’you remember the day you bought them ? The day you put that jumpsuit – or that shirt – on in a changing room and thought ‘ this is going to change my life ’ .
Tags: consumption, hedonic adaptation
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not ; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. - Epicurus
Being consistently angry is your nervous system saying : my boundaries are being crossed , I’m unhappy , and sod this for a game of soldiers .
‘ Simply naming an emotion is powerful , ’ confirms neuroscientist Dr Korb , ‘ because the mere act of naming uses language , which brings the prefrontal cortex ( PFC ) online . The PFC can then reduce the intensity of the emotion . ’
Note: Name emotions
Whenever you’re next inside the eye of a stressful storm , repeat after me : ‘ One day this will be a story I tell people . ’
Things that are not necessarily fun in the moment , later turn into precious anecdotes .
Tags: type two fun
We’re not supposed to be happy 24 / 7 . It’s spectacularly ordinary to feel sad occasionally .
The best piece of advice I’ve ever received about ‘ ordinary ’ relationships , was this belter . ‘ Lower your expectations of people , and up your gratitude , and you’ll find your relationships improve immeasurably . ’ It altered my very foundations , like a subtle seismic shift which alters continental plates irrevocably .
There is no such thing as easy street.
‘ People mistakenly think happiness is the absence of negative emotion , ’ says Dr Korb . ‘ But if you’re always trying to avoid negative emotions , you won’t do anything important . The cost of doing something of value is almost always hard work . Focusing on the value , rather than the cost , is the key . ’ We have to get willing to be uncomfortable , he says , rather than trying to steer towards easy street .
Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.
The brain is like velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones.