Hedonic Adaption — Why It’s so Important to Understand & How to Manage it

Updated: Aug 7, 2019

Hedonic adaption, or the hedonic treadmill, 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.

The reason why this idea is so important to understand in practice is because our brains are wired to constantly want more but even when we get more it doesn’t perpetually satisfy us. The dopamine rush that we experience begins to fade until we revert back to our regular state of mind. 

If we aren’t aware of this then this will create a negative feedback loop of unsatisfied thoughts running through our minds. We may end up making mistakes due to unsatisfaction or worst of all, we may increase the probability of making the same mistakes more than once and not learning.