Wednesday, July 09, 2008


The other day I read about Anhedonia and the danger of over-stimulation in life. A psychologist, Dr. Archibald Hart, wrote a book on anhedonia.

Here's what anhedonia means:

"[Anhedonia] is the gradual shutting down of the brain's pleasure system because it's overused, over-stimulated. And at a certain point, that shutdown is so profound that technically, it becomes a clinical depression." - Archibald Hart

Sounds spooky, doesn't it?It does make sense, though. For example: imagine the joy and excitement you find when you first bought a house that you had been dreaming of and you had been working your butt for. However, if after that experience you're able to buy MANY more houses, then the pleasure you get from buying another house and another and another gradually dies down.

I remember asking one student of mine about his long school holiday plans while I was still working as a private English tutor back in Indo. He said flippantly, "Euwww...we're just probably going to go to Singapore again. SO boring!"I was shocked when I heard that. It took me a few years to save enough money just to go to Singapore once, but he didn't even consider himself lucky to be able to go there over and over again without having to work his butt off.

But then again, that's how our brain works, doesn't it? It's so easy to lose interest in something that made us feel SO excited in the beginning.This topic makes me reflect on my own life.

I DO NOT want to lose the ability to feel genuine pleasure and joy over small things. I want to be able to sit still and yet enjoy myself and the beauty surrounds me. I'm also reminded to take it easy and not to let life pass me by. I want to cherish the moments. I want to be in the moment and not miss those precious memories.

Anyway, let me share some quotations as I think I've rambled enough he he he he...

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
- Maya Angelou


  1. I had no idea this state of mind has a name! It happens to me sometimes, that the mundaness of things makes life seem uninteresting... Sometimes I have to remind myself that there's a lot of positive stuff happening to me. I'm rather certain that you will not lose the ability to feel pleasure over small things, that would seem so against your nature!:D

    Great quote, and very true indeed.

  2. Bitter Chocolate: Me, neither! Before then, I hadn't known about the term he he he...

    THANKS for your kind words about me. I'd better make sure that I never forget to feel delighted over small things. ;-D

  3. Hi Amel

    I totally agree with you - I hope I never loose the joy of pleasure over small things. Too many people have and I think it's sad.
    I'm constantly grateful for so many things I have in my life. I know my life isn't perfect but I do feel blessed in many ways.

    It's so nice to meet someone who feels like that too.

  4. The World According to Me: I'm sure you won't lose that feeling since you're committed to counting your blessings. I'm GLAD I got to know you via blogging he he he...;-D