By Alannah Young
Recently I found myself in a place where I had little or no juice for getting on with my daily tasks. From an outsider’s perspective this did not make any sense – I have a great morning routine that should in theory set me up each day for success.
In the morning I get up, turn on the diffuser, have my various health tonics and vitamins, do my affirmations, go for a short walk to the beach with my dog and hit the gym. I was doing this day in and day out. I should be pumped right? I was, at the beginning but of late the routine started to not ‘feel’ as amazing as it once did. So, what was happening?
We all know that routines have numerous benefits. They create structure and this allows you to conserve your mental energy for things more important in your day. What many people do not know is that as time goes on our emotional reactions to what is happening in the routine will diminish and we won’t get the same feeling we once did. This is called hedonic adaptation.
Hedonic adaptation essentially involves becoming accustomed to a stimulus – so put simply no one thing will make you happy forever and eventually you need to do something different to feel that good feeling again at the same intensity.
According to University of California professor Sonja Lyubomirsky, novelty, variety and gratitude practices can be used as tools to prevent or slow down adaptation.
So, what did this mean for me. It meant going for a sunrise surf the next day instead of firing off my morning routine and afterwards sitting down for a coffee and being grateful for the mornings experience. It was walking my dog at lunchtime and sitting in a different spot in my house as I worked. Simply changes right. Did it work – yes. By doing something different I felt energized and inspired and being grateful for the new experiences as well as appreciating the benefits of my routine I felt reinvigorated.
So, I ask, if you are experiencing a lull in energy and took an honest look at your life, is it on repeat? What could you do that is novel or different to mix it up? What could you be grateful for today and could you incorporate a practice of finding one thing in your life to be grateful for every day? Let me know how you changes went @alannah1young