The Fun Way to Stay Happy: New Adventures and Thankful Hearts!

Are you constantly searching for happiness, only to watch it slip away when that new job or relationship no longer feels so new? Maybe it’s time to take a different approach. Happiness isn’t out of reach; it’s often just a matter of seeking out new experiences and truly appreciating the worth of what you already have.

The Problem with Adjusting to Change

People tend to get bored quickly with new partners, jobs, and possessions. Kennon Sheldon, a professor of psychological sciences at Missouri University, found that most people he studied became accustomed to the changes that initially made them happy. They soon stopped feeling happy because they either wanted more and raised their standards or stopped enjoying the change altogether.

For example, someone who fell in love with a new partner might start wishing they were more attractive instead of enjoying their shared experiences. Others, however, managed to appreciate what they had and continue seeking out new experiences. Those individuals typically maintained their happiness boost instead of reverting to their previous emotional state.

The Importance of Variety and Surprise in Life

Sheldon’s findings support the idea that variety, surprise, and gratitude play crucial roles in maintaining happiness. Continuously embracing new activities or experiences with the people we care about can help bolster our emotional state and prevent it from declining.

While the Declaration of Independence encourages people to pursue happiness, it’s often an everlasting endeavor. Many people experience a significant happiness boost after major life changes like entering a new relationship, but eventually, those feelings fade and return to previous levels.

A Model for Happiness: Keep Experiencing and Appreciating

Through his research, Sheldon developed a model for helping people maintain the heightened happiness that comes from beneficial changes in their lives. The model consists of two major components:

  1. Continually seek out new and positive life-changing experiences.
  2. Constantly appreciate what you already have without wanting more too soon.

But how can you actively apply this model in your everyday life? Here are some suggestions on how you could get started.

Seek Out New Experiences

Trying new things can give you a fresh outlook on life and help you break out of your comfort zone. Look for activities you’ve never attempted or places you’ve never visited. Some ideas could include:

  • Taking up a new sport
  • Signing up for a class in a subject that interests you
  • Volunteering at a local organization
  • Traveling to different cities or countries

These experiences don’t have to be grand and expensive. Instead, focus on simple ways to make lasting memories and create happiness with the people around you.

Foster Gratitude and Appreciation

Gratitude and appreciation are essential for maintaining happiness. Make it a habit to reflect on the good things in your life regularly. Some ways to practice gratitude could include:

  • Keeping a gratitude journal
  • Listing three things you’re grateful for each day
  • Telling your loved ones why you appreciate them
  • Taking a quiet moment each day to express gratitude for what you have

It’s essential not to take the good things in your life for granted. Many people lose their happiness once they get used to an initially life-changing situation. By intentionally appreciating your circumstances, you can safeguard your happiness by acknowledging the worth of what you already have.


Finding lasting happiness doesn’t have to feel like an impossible task. By continually seeking out new experiences and fostering appreciation for what you already have, you can maintain higher levels of happiness in your life. Embrace these practices and enjoy the improved emotional state that comes with being grateful and open to change.