Do you have a pleasure deficit? It seems that many of us do as we move along in the fast lane of modern life. A pleasure deficit contributes in a huge way to stress as it unbalances our system and leads to negative behaviors that further deplete and stress body, mind and spirit.
The Neuroscience of Pleasure
It’s interesting to discover that Neuroscience has found that we humans…and our animal friends…are hardwired for pleasure/reward. This means not only that we are equipped to handle it, but also that it is a necessity! Our pleasure circuits need to be stimulated so that we can operate optimally, as well as feel good. When our needs for pleasure and reward are not addressed we become prone to depression, anxiety and poor performance. In an effort to re-balance ourselves we will seek out negative stimulators of the pleasure pathways….the problem is that not only do these not work with any real degree of satisfaction, but they also typically set us up for more complex issues than we already had! The newest of these problem pleasure stimulators is our use of electronics whether they be our phones, TV’s, computers or tablets. We need to have focused intent and a plan so we do not fall prey to digital addiction.
Reasons for Pleasure Deficits
There are of course many reasons why we find ourselves with a pleasure deficit—our culture certainly does not teach us to seek it out, ask for it, receive it gracefully, take time for it, or to even believe it is OK to have. So it occurs to me…what a great problem to have!! Our assignment is to have more pleasure and it is biologically sanctioned!
Here are some questions to help you begin to get a clearer picture of where you stand re: your pleasure quotient.
Do you have a time during your day when you experience pleasure…a particular time or activity?
Do you involve all of your senses in your daily activities?
E.G. do you appreciate the smell, color, texture and appearance of your food, do you luxuriate in the feel of the sun on your skin, or the feel of the earth beneath your feet? If we were fully inhabiting our body-minds we would be having direct experiences with our world and life that went beyond our mental perception–unfortunately we have evolved to mostly thinking our way through our days rather than truly experiencing them. We’ll be addressing more about shifting this way of being in subsequent posts.
Do you smile and laugh on a regular basis?
Do you have activities/moments within each day when you are truly present to the total enjoyment of the experience?
How often are you touched, hugged, kissed with genuine affection and kindness?
How often do you express genuine love and kindness to another(s)?
When you are feeling low how do you address it? Do you take good care of yourself? Do you have a support system that allows for authentic giving and receiving…for honest expression of who you are and what you are feeling?
There is a fair amount of misunderstanding around “thinking positive” these days that has resulted in an inner disconnect for many people, in themselves as well as within relationships—a spiritual bypass that eventually results in a deep sense of isolation–we will be talking more about that too in later posts.
How can you begin to limit the amount of time you spend looking at a screen?
You may already be addicted so it can be difficult to change your behavior in this regard. Have a plan that includes deep self care and wean yourself slowly.
So, take a look at your answers to the above questions and see where you stand as well as where you would like to be with your PQ–pleasure quotient. In the next post we will expand on this issue and include an energetic/chakra perspective as well as some remedies for your pleasure!
We would love to hear what kind of answers. discoveries or insights you may have had as you answered the questions…we all help each other by discussing our points of view, challenges and AHA’S!