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.