A couple of years ago, I lost one of my younger brothers, at that moment I was so sure I would never be able to laugh again, my heart was broken, I knew a part of my life was ripped off by the sudden loss of my brother, and I thought that was it. Fast forward to a couple of years later, I am happy again, I have smiled since then, I have adjusted to his absence not because I don’t miss him but simply because according to Psychologist Sasha Heinz, I have adapted to the reality of not having him in my life anymore. Sasha defined the well-known psychological phenomenon as ‘hedonic adaptation’ sometimes called the ‘hedonic treadmill’, she shared that humans tend to have a ‘set’ level of happiness, or unhappiness, which they return to regardless of major life events, good or bad.
I also remember when we were building our new house, I just could not wait for us to move in, the house felt like a hotel, I was always mesmerized each time I visited the site and when we eventually moved in I simply enjoyed every single feeling of living in it but fast forward to five years after living in it, the house is still beautiful, but the magic is gone and now thinking of hedonic adaptation. I sincerely believe that it does happen. It is not a matter of not being grateful or taking things for granted; it is the human nature of us, confirming that the thrill of events does not last. Dr Heidi Halvorson – another Psychologist also confirmed that no matter how good something makes us feel (or, for the record, how bad), most of the time we drift back to where we started, emotionally-speaking. So, whether it is that sad news or the very joyful news that took our breath away..we will surely go back to our normal eventually.
However, I am happy that after recently visiting a country and seeing the hard living conditions of the place, as soon as I stepped my feet back into our house. I fell totally in love again with it. I appreciated the fact that I have a place to call mine.
So, ask yourself, are there things in your life, that you need to resuscitate your love for? You may need to take a gratitude journey somewhere and let that brighten your level of appreciation again, or possibly you may need to check the influence of others on you, and probably you are beginning to find yourself in the rat race of competition, e.g. through social media, or maybe, just maybe you are in the attitude of rushing your happiness euphoria…you can actually spread it out, when you buy that blouse… don’t rush to wear it this week…wait until next week perhaps:)
I am glad that my deep pain for the loss of my brother has lessened; however, I know that on his birthday or at special family occasions, I do miss him, but I also know that he is up there looking down and cheering me on to keep smiling and living for him.
Wherever you are on the journey of life, and you need someone to walk through life with you, then call on us at New Beginnings Barrie Psychotherapy & Counselling.
Written by Ibukun Ogunsina, New Beginnings Barrie, Psychotherapy and Counselling Services. Website: www.newbeginningsbarrie.com
Tel: +1 705 241 8456