Intro | Background 2 | Breathe 2 | Manchester | Propositions 2 3 4 | References | Results 2 | Inquiries | Notes
Propositions — continued
This is because pleasure is necessarily self-limiting, while pain recedes from memory more slowly.7
“We habituate quite rapidly to pleasurable sensations…. …any given pleasure will fade and the moment will pass…. Unpleasant feelings such as anxiety, fear and pain are generally not as ephemeral as pleasure; we do eventually adjust to displeasure or pain, but more slowly and less completely that in the case of pleasure.”8
4. The diversity of negative emotions, the high impact of negative experiences, and the longer duration of displeasure—suggest that negativity and positivity are not mere inverses. They have unique characteristics. Different approaches are required to abate one and cultivate another.
5. Negative emotions and experiences must be balanced by a constantly renewed pursuit of joy and positive experiences.
Pain is highly subjective. Negative emotions can increase pain, while
changing one’s behavior and finding distractions can actually decrease
the awareness of pain.9
Cheap and Cheerful #7 & #6, 2009, neon and glitter pen, 11.625 x 7.75 inches / 29.5 x 45 cm.
Produced in the Breathe Residency at Chinese Arts Centre. more info
Memories are also recalled in a highly subjective manner. Psychologists describe Peak-End effect, the brain’s mechanism for judging a past event. We make snapshot judgments based on two moments, rather than retaining the emotional highs and lows of the entire experience.
7. Philip Zimbardo & John Boyd, The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time. London: Rider  254
8. Martin 19
9. Martin 155