Oh, to be the cream – 22nd January 2020

Miswanting – why do we miswant?

4 annoying features
1. we compare using reference points
2. wrong intuitions about what makes us happy
3. we get used to ‘stuff’
4. we don’t realise we get used to stuff
To overcome these we need to use intentional, effortful strategies

Reset your reference points
– a reference point is a salient (but irrelevant) standard against which subsequent info is compared. They affect our happiness judgments
a – concretely re-experience
physically go back to the place or in your mind back to that time – what was your reference point then?
b – concretely observe
go and see what other things are really like
c – avoid social comparisons
– use the ‘stop’ technique ie notice making comparisons and say ‘stop’
– show gratitude
– be conscious about what you see
– stop/reduce social media, be conscious when using it.
– interrupt your consumption, pause things you enjoy, they will give you a boost when you come back to them
– increase your variety, do difficult things each day, try different foods, different books, etc

For hedonic adaptation (getting used to stuff)
– ‘stuff’ doesn’t make us as happy as we think it will, ‘stuff’ sticks around so we get used to it
– invest in experiences, they go away but you have memories
– we don’t adapt to experiences, we don’t get used to them
– experiences are difficult to compare to material stuff

What if you already have awesome stuff?
– savouring
– negative visualisation
– make this day your last
– gratitude

Savouring – stepping outside of an experience to review and appreciate it
Activities that enhance savouring
– tell another person how good you felt
– look for someone to share with
– think about how lucky you are (gratitude)
– think about sharing it later
– physical expressions of energy
– laugh or giggle
– tell yourself how proud you were
– in the now, absorb the moment
Activities that hurt savouring
– focus on the future, after the event
– you remind yourself it will be over soon
– tell yourself it’s not as good as you hoped
– tell yourself nothing lasts forever
– tell yourself how it could be better
– tell yourself it will never be this good again
– tell yourself you didn’t deserve this good thing

Negative visualisation
– imagine you never had this

Make this day your last
– what if you lose this thing

– show thanks and appreciation for what you have and share it with other people

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful to meet and chat with Diego, a teacher at the other Anuban school. He seems like a nice person and understands the situation here in Thailand.

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