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A better appreciation of people, things in your life

Narrator:          This is Science Today. We get used to things in life — the good and the bad. In psychology, the term is called hedonic adaptation, and it's become a popular subject for those studying — and trying to attain — happiness. Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California, Riverside, has written a book called "The Myths of Happiness" to help people better understand this phenomenon.

Lyubomirsky:    A lot of us, when we are considering breaking up a relationship or when we're not finding a life partner or when we don't feel as excited about our marriages as we were initially, it kind of becomes a crisis point for us. We think, oh my god, there's something wrong with me. There's something wrong with my job, there's something wrong with my relationship and I really wanted to highlight to readers that these don't have to be crisis points.  That these are just sort of universal processes that happen to the average person.

Narrator:          One of the strategies to combat hedonic adaptation is making a concerted effort to appreciate things and people in your life. Lyubomirsky admits that's not always easy, but it's something we should do on a regular basis. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.