Everyone wants to be happy. Sometimes, it comes from buying items. Or maybe upgrading your lifestyle can boost your happiness.
As a remote worker, you have access to earning opportunities that can give you a comfortable life — and possibly, beyond. But have you ever felt that even that isn’t enough?
For example, you may have bought your dream gadget or maybe a car. But after a few months, that hit of happiness you got from either purchase fades away.
My friend, you might be stuck on the Hedonic treadmill. And it might be making you unhappy.
What is the Hedonic Treadmill?
Imagine running on a treadmill with an item at the end. And once you get the item, you move back to the center only to run for another item again.
That’s what the hedonic treadmill does to you.
The hedonic treadmill is a psychological phenomenon where your happiness returns to a baseline after experiencing a positive or negative event.
For instance, you got a raise from your online job. With this, you upgrade your lifestyle by eating out more. For a few months, you feel happy because you can now afford to dine out when you want to.
But after some time, this starts to feel normal and doesn’t make you as happy or excited anymore.
Conversely, you might experience a breakup from a long-term relationship. For a while, you feel lonely and every sad song reminds you of your happy times.
But after some time has passed, it won’t hurt as much anymore. Rather than a source of grief, everything becomes a mere memory. As with the previous example, you’re back to your baseline of happiness.
Understanding Your Set Level of Happiness
First, let’s understand our set level of happiness. The set level of happiness is the individual’s typical or baseline level of happiness that they tend to return to.
Each individual is unique. We have different set levels of happiness.
It’s theorized that 50% of our happiness set point comes from genetics. Some may be genetically predisposed to be more optimistic than others. On the other hand, some are more prone to depression.
The 10% is based on external factors, and the remaining 40% is left to our actions.
Of course, there’s more to finding your exact happiness set point than these numbers. But the point is, there is always room for improvement.
Your thoughts, actions, and reactions to your circumstances all play a vital role to your happiness.
With that, here are some tips to avoid the hedonic treadmill so you can feel happier for longer.
Delay Lifestyle Improvements
We all experience high points in life, but things usually go back to normal after a while.
So what’s the point? Should we just stop pursuing happiness? Not necessarily.
What you can do is delay lifestyle improvements. Instead of immediately buying a phone, a brand-new car, and a house all at once, purchase these items over a period of time.
By doing this, you can get the maximum satisfaction from an item.
And once you feel that you’re returning to your baseline, you can purchase other items to keep you on a positive high.
When You’re Unhappy, Implement Lifestyle Changes All at Once
So what do you do when you have negative experiences? Try to implement lifestyle changes all at once.
For example, when you get laid off, you might need to let go of some lifestyle options.
For instance, you might need to groom your pet yourself rather than visiting a professional groomer. Maybe cancel some of your subscriptions or sell a few of your items.
Instead of doing this over an extended period of time, implement all these changes all at once. This way, you can feel normal again once you return to your set level of happiness.
Invest in Experiences
Individuals can avoid the hedonic treadmill by spending money on experiences rather than material possessions.
Imagine the anticipation and excitement preceding a trip to another country or maybe a pottery class you’ve always wanted to try. It’s a great feeling, right?
Best of all, experiences can help expand your world – and lead you to a more profound and more lasting sort of happiness.
Who knows? An experience could even lead to discovering one of your passions in the long run.
Be Generous With Others
Spending money on others can actually help individuals avoid the hedonic treadmill and experience lasting happiness.
When you spend on others, social interactions are involved. This increases the likelihood of creating strong relationships. You can build connections with them that can lead to a sense of belonging.
You can choose to spend your money on your loved ones. Or maybe on a total stranger who could really use the help.
On top of that, you can experience a tremendous sense of fulfillment when you know that you’ve made a positive impact on the lives of other people.
Most of us are still trapped on the hedonic treadmill. But why run when you can just get off it all together?
But is that even possible? Yes, by practicing gratitude.
When you practice gratitude, you cherish and appreciate what you have right now. It allows you to be content and lets you focus on the positive aspects of your life.
There is nothing wrong with pursuing bigger goals or aspiring after certain material things and lifestyle changes.
But by knowing the concept of the hedonic treadmill, you’ll have a better understanding of how to truly find happiness.
And if you’re looking for better job satisfaction, you might want to try an online job!
A remote working career definitely has advantages and disadvantages. But for the right people, it can far outweigh the disadvantages and ultimately bring you happiness.
Think being able to travel the world and having more savings and more time for your family or passion projects. Who wouldn’t want those, right?
So if you’re searching for long-term remote working opportunities, sign up with Remote Staff for the best online job listings for Filipinos. Cheers!