Why your Happiness can't increase forever

in Project HOPE3 years ago



As we have explored in my last post, happiness is influenced by many factors, namely material and psychological ones.

But, even if all the inputs would put you on a path to increase your happiness, that increase is, probably, more limited than you'd think!

Easterlin Paradox

The Easterlin Paradox, stated in 1974 by Richard Easterlin, says that, even as the average income in a country increases, its average happiness levels don't increase.

This strange observation has some explanations:

Comparative Incomes Hypothesis

Happiness from money is not derived by the absolute amount of money, but by relative wealth, meaning, how rich you are in comparison to other people near you.

Note that it has also been observed that if rich people live very close to very poor people, they won't be as happy.

The Hedonic Treadmill


The Hedonic Treadmill, or Hedonic Adaptation, is the term used to describe the fact that humans have a tendency to return to a baseline happiness.

This means that even if something major impacts your life, be it for better or for worse, will only have a temporary effect on how happy you are.

The Paradox isn't real

Finally, some say that this Paradox isn't real. Either the data was badly collected or it only focused on a few countries


In the end, we all know that we can only be so happy. Happiness is less of a state and more of a contrast with unhappiness and pain.

Do agree with the 'limited happiness' idea, or do you think humans can always have higher baseline happiness?

Thanks for reading!
Remember to Upvote and Share, so that I can keep making many posts per week!

Take a look at my last post, also about Happiness!

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