Hedonic Treadmill

This was a new concept or idea for me:

The hedonic treadmill, also known as hedonic adaptation, is the observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes.


Huh. Go on…

Hedonic adaptation is a process or mechanism that reduces the affective impact of emotional events. Generally, hedonic adaptation involves a happiness “set point”, whereby humans generally maintain a constant level of happiness throughout their lives, despite events that occur in their environment.

The process of hedonic adaptation is often conceptualized as a treadmill, since one must continually work to maintain a certain level of happiness.

In other words, it suggests that everyone has their own unique treadmill, sotospeak, with the size, the shape, the speed and pace all being respectively different for each of us.

I wonder if these different “base” or “default” settings for folks can negatively affect the relationship as a direct consequence — that the different settings cause misunderstanding, misalignment, and general confusion and frustration.

Makes sense.