JAN BROGAN: As it turns out, the happiness we all seek is best in small doses. In fact, it may be the small doses that actually create the happiness.
A new report from PSYBLOG (how many times do I exclaim this is my favorite blog?) talks about a 2008 study (Nelson&Meyvis) that tried to track happiness by offering massages to its participants. Half the participants received a three-minute continuous massage and the other half received a three-minute massage that was delivered in two parts, with a twenty second break in between. The authors expected the continuous massage to bring more happiness - because we all know, the longer the massage, the better. But, it turned out that the people who had the break enjoyed it more. Why? The theory is that the break stopped them from becoming acclimated to the massage.
Interesting concept: That adaptation is the enemy of happiness. Once we take things for granted, they lose their ability to bring us happiness. Or perhaps, we lose our ability to NOTICE these things bring us happiness. In either event, it explains why rich people are often not happy. Because they can afford it, the bar for their happiness keeps rising. They tend not to savor the small things because their expectations have risen to such heights.
So, you should rejoice! According to this study, small pleasures beat big pleasures. And while some cake is better than no cake, twice the amount of cake does not produce twice the amount of happiness (remember that when you are dieting.)
So USING THIS LOGIC: I planned the next WRITER'S CHALLENGE, which officially begins Sunday, October 30th. It is a smaller pleasure - only FOUR weeks. And it's only four weeks, so I can sneak it, and you can thoroughly enjoy it, before the holidays start. Then you will LONGING to be back in the calmer moments of disciplined writing.
As usual, there will be prizes. Small, highly-pleasurable, SIGNED prizes. Come back Sunday to sign up.