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Ecstasy: How to Keep Glowing by Karen Little

We measure happy experiences along the line a bell-shaped curve. To the right are the very best experiences, and to the left, the absolute worse. Most of our activities fall near the middle, ranging from "bla" to just "OK."

It's safe to say that people seek the happiest and most profitable experiences. The problem is that when extreme happiness and pleasure is found, the feeling is fleeting.

There are two ways, however, to maintain the happiness you found, even ecstasy. One is relatively easy, and the other takes work, but is doable. The first has to do with forming words, and the second, habits.

Forming Words: As we speak, we walk. That is, the way we talk guides our actions. When you fill your speech, whether out-loud or silently, with statements along the lines of "I'm so happy," "This is wonderful!," and "I'm so lucky," you'll feel great. Why? Because words affect mood and mood is chemically managed by hormones.

Habits: To sustain, or at least, recall feelings of ecstasy, we need to develop our sense of timing.

Yes, the euphoria of extreme happiness is fleeting. Eat your first potato chip, for example, and your taste buds ignite! Eat your 20th and still enjoy the experience, but not as much. Eat your 40th and you begin feeling stuffed, possibly ill.

To regain feelings of euphoria within the areas of your control (like eating), do it once (a serving, glass, or specific activity), then repeat it only after a period of time. If, for example, a specific piece of chocolate or glass of wine sends your soul soaring, consume it, but not any more during the same period. Wait several days (or at least a week) before having a second.

While anticipation promotes experience, contrast through frequent repetition deadens it. Gobbling your favorite chocolate or guzzling a tasty drink reduces your perception of contrast and moves what was your happy experience to the middle of the bell-shaped curve. Experiment with specific intervals needed to reproduce the feeling of euphoria from whatever activity you wish to re-experience. Several days is good. Months, however, might cause you to lose interest. Of course, become aware of when you are no longer interested in this activity, and move on to something better! By combining your speech and habits based on these tips, you'll feel that your life has taken on a special glow, which, chemically speaking, it has!


As of this writing, I'm looking for good links to illustrate the benefits of using time management to promote euphoria. The word "interval" describes a technique for success, as used for "interval studying," "interval exercising," and "interval eating" (used for diet management). Articles about "interval ecstasy" talk about the highs and lows of taking the drug ecstasy, which has a similar aim, but do not address the outcomes suggested here.

For a more scientific probe, searching for the phrase "interval happiness" leads to studies on how to measure happiness, which are interesting and possibly even useful for individuals.

If you find a specific reference, please send it to

If you want to experience more joy in life without having a specific link or reference provided here, however, practice the two tips provided in this article: Speak of happiness, and create intervals between repeating moments of extreme pleasure.

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by Sketch-Views with Karen Little


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