Sarah Morgan

Healthcare Geek.
Professional Communicator.



Hedonic adaptation.

What a nice phrase, right? So fancy.

But what the nice phrase actually means is… we can’t have nice things. Not for long, anyway.

Or, more precisely, we can have them, but they’ll stop feeling so nice.

We’re built to get used to things. We are wired to be blasé.

This is why change slows down time, why travel memories are so vivid while everyday time blurs together.

It’s why treats become expected and why we feel it important to keep up with the Joneses.

It’s also why people can laugh in wartime, make jokes and find beauty in the midst of suffering.

When good things happen, we appreciate them, but we return to a baseline level of happiness. When bad things happen, we suffer, but we return to a baseline level of happiness. We’re wired to have an equilibrium and external events can only push against that so hard.

That’s why it’s so important to actively seek gratitude. We don’t want to become hardened against that initial burst of happiness – we want to give it a little extra juice every day. I know I’m blessed way, way above the human average. I don’t ever want to forget that, but at the same time, I know I do, and I will, forget that, a million times a day. So, as often as I can, the antidote: gratitude.


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