We're all on the journey.
March 18, 2023
From Hamsters to Happiness: How to Ditch The Hedonic Treadmill of Dissatisfaction

In this episode, we look at unraveling the emotional race created by hedonic adaptation; illustrating how emotional dysregulation frequently leads us to form unhealthy, adverse judgements of our natural emotional cycles.

Our individual pursuit of growth and excellence does not always equate to joy, due to regular responses, beliefs and self-doubt. 

Today we learned that Hedonic adaptation, on the surface - can be beneficial. Yet taken to extremes, can lead to emotional dysregulation and destructive coping mechanisms. 

Judging our emotions can influence our psychological well-being, inhibiting our ability to effectively move away from dissatisfaction. Therefore, the trap of the hedonic treadmill creates anxiety, obstacles and bitterness. We can, however, move away from old mindsets and embrace new, more hopeful perspectives. 


Personal Growth.

On our journey to becoming our best selves, we often consider it to be a vital part of our happiness. However, with the amount of time spent striving for individual progression and excellence, 

Why doesn't growth equate to greater joy?


Examining what brings us hardships and pain, so many of the various problems people struggle with are actually the result of the same trap - falling into habitual patterns in their response to circumstances, understanding occurrences, believing in constraints, and succumbing to self-doubt. This creates anxiety and outrage; it holds us back, builds up bitterness, and stops us from expressing ourselves honestly and genuinely. 


But we have the capability to move away from old beliefs, suppositions, and mindsets, and embrace new natural, hopeful perspectives on ourselves and the opportunities that surround us.


Hedonic adaptation is the process by which humans become accustomed to emotional, mental, and physical stimuli. On the surface, this appears to be beneficial, leading to a more comfortable, even joyful, existence. However, when hedonic adaptation is taken to its extreme, it can become our worst enemy.


Our guest, Psychotherapist, Certified Mindset Coach, Certified NLP Coach Practitioner, Byron Athene teaches how to move From Hamsters to Happiness While Ditch The Hedonic Treadmill of Dissatisfaction



Key Points:


  1. Why does hedonic adaptation play a role in emotional dysregulation?
  1. How much of human beings’ time is spent in a state of emotional activation, and are we designed to live in a state of emotional activation?
  1. Chronic emotional activation or stress can have negative effects on physical and mental health.

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Featured Guest: Byron Athene

Credits: Music Score by Epidemic Sound

Executive Producer: Jeffrey Besecker

Mixing, Engineering, Production, and Mastering: Aloft Media Studio

Senior Program Director: Anna Getz


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Byron AtheneProfile Photo

Byron Athene

Psychotherapeutic Counselling

have an unshakable belief in the unlimited capacity for peoples' ability to heal and improve. This informs my practice as a psychotherapist, life coach and trainer.

I developed a revolutionary new approach that seamlessly integrates philosophy and psychology. I'm a pluralistic practitioner. This means I can use my own approach or a variety of other approaches to assist you on your journey. As a therapist, I will work with you towards restoration and promote psychological well-being and growth. As a life coach, I will facilitate the transformation from the current you to the ideal you, you aspire to be. In both cases, this means helping you to access the necessary inner resources to experience a greater sense of free will and a higher sense of achievement and fulfillment.


I developed a stutter as a child that formed a core part of my personality. I became interested in philosophy and psychology in 1991 and became an avid reader of books in those fields. I thought about becoming a therapist but felt my speech would be too much of an impediment so pursued office jobs and worked for a local authority for over two decades. I stumbled across the growth mindset idea by discovering my own but realised I still maintained a fixed mindset about my career and my speech. I reconsidered training as a therapist and coach when I no longer saw my stutter as an obstacle.

I'm now a Counselling Psychotherapist, Certified Mindset Coach, Trainer, Clinical Supervisor and author. I also received the CREA Global Award of Brainz magazine in 2021.