Focus at Four: Prolonging enjoyment of the things you love and why it matters

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - When searching for happiness, try eating popcorn with chopsticks.

It's the advice from a couple of researchers who looked at the ways we experience the things that make us happy. Hedonic adaptation is the term for what happens when the things we once loved become less enjoyable, simply because we've adapted to enjoyment.

Texas A&M School of Public Health professor and psychologist Carly McCord said it's true, but she doesn't see it as a big problem.

"We adapt to everything, the good and the bad," said McCord.

Still, McCord agrees with the aforementioned researchers that finding varied ways to enjoy the things you love, like eating your regular popcorn with the very irregular chopsticks, can provide a renewed sense of enjoyment that can increase happiness.

"Forty percent of your happiness is based on the things that you do in life, the intentional things that you participate in," said McCord. "So there's something that's in your control, and you can do things to make yourself happier."

For the full conversation with McCord, see the video player above. For the original article on the research, see the Related Links.