Variety Is The Spice Of Life

Your level of happiness is the result of many different factors in your life, such as the voluntary activities that you choose to partake in on a daily basis.

One such activity are pleasures, which Martin Seligman, founder of positive psychology, defines as “delights that have clear sensory and strong emotional components.”

Such pleasures may be derived from eating food, backrubs, cool breezes, sex or listening to music.

This means raising ones happiness requires you to arrange your day in a way that increases these pleasures.

The problem with doing this however, is that your brain loves to overindulge, but in order to maintain their potency, pleasures must be spread out.

Listening to a song 10 times in a row, eating an entire pint of ice cream in one sitting, or roaming social media for long hours at a time is a good way to overdose in pleasure and desensitize yourself to future pleasure.

This is where you have to be conscious and present enough in the moment to understand that you should get up and move on to another activity so you don’t overindulge.

In the book “The Happiness Hypothesis,” Jonathan Haidt, who is a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, says,

“Pleasures are meant to be savored and varied. The French know how to do this: They eat many fatty foods, yet they end up thinner and healthier than Americans, and they derive a great deal more pleasure from their food by eating slowly and paying more attention to the food as they eat it. Because they savor, they ultimately eat less. Americans, in contrast, shovel enormous servings of high-fat and high-carbohydrate food into their mouths while doing other things.”

Variety is the spice of life because it yields the greatest amount of happiness while overindulging in pleasure only accelerates the process of desensitization and boredom.





14 thoughts on “Variety Is The Spice Of Life

  1. Dear Vincent,

    I enjoyed this compelling message and you did a luminous job connecting your ideas with “The Happiness Hypothesis”. I have definitely been guilty as an American, shoveling enormous servings of high-fat and high-carbohydrate food into my mouth while doing other things such as watching Netflix. I have done this many times, countless times… so I love the nudge towards savoring our food.

    Your words were significant because you reminded me that variety truly is a spice in life and it can be used to achieve happiness. However, overindulging in one or many pleasures only accelerates the process of desensitization and boredom (Oh no!)

    My response is to change up my diet – so I can savor, and maybe I will eat less but I must admit, I really love food. My biggest takeaway from this post was that pleasures must be spread out. And also that variety much be achieved to prevent overindulgence and boredom.

    Good stuff sir!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You said it’s hard to savor food because you love it too much, but that’s all the more reason to savor food. When you eat slow, savor and eat a variety of food, you taste more and experience more:) it’s worth striving to spread out your pleasures. This was seriously a great comment, I wish you luck on the diet and I’m glad I could write something that was able to bring you value into your life:)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. When we experience something so much, we adapt to it, which is why we have to space pleasures out so we can continue experiencing the positive emotions of happiness:) I’m glad I could explain it to you:)

      Liked by 1 person

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