Wellbeing Wizard

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The Hedonic Treadmill
Written by Mark Millard   

The hedonic treadmil is a term used to describe our tendency to get used to the pleasurable things in life, especially lifestyle and consumer goods - cars, houses, clothes etc.

As fast as we get these sorts of things the more we seem to want. The things we have lose their appeal and we set our sights on the next, new shinier, better version.

Running faster doesn't move us any further forward, it just speeds up the treadmill.

While we can't out-run the effect there are ways we can reduce the impact and get more pleasure out of our purchases.

First, we can become more mindful and aware of the things we've got, savoring or appreciating them more and becoming more selective and discerning in our choices.

I have a pair of hiking boots which always make me feel good when I put them on. Partly because they are beautifully made and partly because they remind me of the wonderful walks we've done and places we've been.

Secondly, experiences generally do more for our happiness and wellbeing than things. The allure of a new kitchen gadget will fade faster than the memory of a special meal.

Not only do experiences live longer in the mind they can also improve over time as we recall, share and relive the best bits.

In summary one way to get more pleasure out of our purchases is to put more effort and meaning into them, to engage with experiences and things rather than passively consume them.

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