Eating, Facebook, shopping …
Sleeping, gossiping, Netflix ….
Sex, drugs, alcohol ….
Humans have a tendency to seek pleasure to distract, avoid – to feel good. We love the high we get with each dopamine hit and will chase it do avoid our feelings.
When you do anything to avoid your emotions you are robbing yourself of pleasure.
This, at first, might sound confusing. How can pleasure rob you of pleasure? Yet, in fact it’s rather straightforward.
There are two types of pleasures – I refer to them as genuine, and misleading.
Misleading pleasures are temporary distractors and result in negative consequences. For example, if you are feeling stressed, go to the freezer and find comfort in a massive bowl of chocolate ice cream it will feel pleasurable.
Yet, when the ice cream is gone – the thoughts that caused you to feel stressed remain. They are also most likely compounded with feelings of guilt, and shame – plus, you’re probably headed for a sugar crash, your cravings will skyrocket and your long-term health goals will feel like they’ll never be realized.
This pattern is seen in all misleading pleasures – they might appear to be good (and for a moment they are) but that moment is fleeting and by indulging in these pleasures you rob yourself of the sacred, genuine pleasures that will ultimately create the healthy life and body that you desire.
I love to refer to the act of cultivating genuine pleasure as an Art. It takes skill and practise and doesn’t come easily to most – but the payoff is ohhh so worth it!
Genuine Pleasures are long lasting, they create a stronger connection with yourself and they only result in positive outcomes.
Consider this – what if, instead of distracting yourself from your stress, you chose to sit with it. You let it sink in and you felt it in its entirety. You allowed yourself to have the whole human experience and in doing this … you didn’t die!
In fact, after you allowed yourself to feel this pain you were able to access the thought that was causing it. This thought – though real to you, holds no power, and with practice you can learn to think better thoughts that create feelings that better serve you!
In doing so you’ll then be able to take actions that will bring you closer to your goals – not further from them. You’ll have avoided the ice cream and will be that much closer to creating the life that you deserve! Now my friend – That is pleasure!
But what about the ice cream and passionate sex and oh man…what about those lazy Saturdays that you enjoy binge watching Netflix – are those all to be avoided?
To this I say “HELL NO” most of these pleasures are, and should be, part of your life! When enjoying pleasures that can often be misleading it’s crucially important to plan them, be mentally and emotionally present when enjoying them and then quitting when they are no longer thoroughly enjoyable.
I also encourage you to source out the very best pleasurable experiences. For example, if you are going to plan to indulge in ice cream find or make some with the highest quality ingredients, free from additives and fillers. Scoop it out into your favourite bowl and enjoy eating it with a beautiful spoon. Avoid other distractions as you eat and be mindful of every bite.
As you consciously create more genuine pleasure in your life your body will learn to trust you, she will feel safe and be able to relax.
If you struggle with stress and feel like it may be impacting your health and weight I have created a free guide just for you!
Download The Stressed-Out Mom’s Guide to Pleasurable Weight Loss here (and share with your friends because let’s face it – doing this with support is a lot more fun!)
I’m here with you all the way.