3 steps to adding more pleasure to your life
Does life feel like it's more about work than it is play? Sometimes, when we get sucked into the daily monotony of 'adulting' and everything that comes with it, pleasure goes out the window. Here's how to get it back!
Pleasure is a broad word that means different things to different people so the first step is to figure out what it means to you. For some people it's a walk in nature. For others (specifically those who were craving a break from work) it was a nap!
Now obviously, there are other things in life that bring me pleasure too, it's just that being a bit of a foodie, a chocolate addict and a movie nut this is what first comes to mind. So what comes up for you?
Knowing what brings you pleasure is important because in a world where we value achievement and getting things done, sometimes we forget to make time for the bliss and joy that pleasure brings with it. So here are 3 simple steps to injecting more pleasure into your life:
Step 1: Know what's pleasurable for you
Create a list to get your juices flowing, and if you're struggling to find out what it is for you, ask yourself these questions. "When do I feel happiest?" "When do I feel most alive?" "When does my soul feel most nourished?"
Step 2: ...actually do it!
Book it into your schedule and actually do it! After all, if we can make time for our boss' agendas, our friends needs and everything else we are trying to do, it's important to carve out time to connect with what brings us pleasure. Not only will you start doing more of what you love (which will make you a happier person in general) but planning your pleasure also has another great bonus, mentioned in step 3...
Step 3: Anticipation is half the pleasure!
Positive psychology studies the actions and behaviours that create happiness in people and it has been noted many times that it's not just what you do that makes you happy, it's looking forward to doing it that makes the difference. When you look back on anything you've done that's brought you great pleasure....wasn't the build up almost just as fun as the actual event? Think about when you were planning that amazing European holiday, or when you know you have a 90 minute full body massage booked in at the end of the week or you are going on a date with someone you've just met and are really in to....the anticipation puts you into that state of pleasure before the event even happens. Much like a gratitude list draws you into the energy of the abundance you want to create in your life, booking in pleasurable activities draws you into that energy of pleasure now, and makes your day to day life that little bit more exciting and inspiring!
The biggest aspect of experiencing pleasure is to be fully present in what you're doing. This is the part that many of us miss, because we spend so much time in our heads. Have you ever had that experience of meeting up with a friend for coffee and afterwards you realised that you actually missed out on the enjoyment because you weren't really present and 'in' it? Maybe you were worrying about something happening at home or thinking about all the things you had to do afterwards.
At the heart of it, pleasure is really about being totally present in the moment and connected to the flow and bliss of life.
So connect in to what brings you pleasure, book it in, start looking forward to it and show up completely present for it. Taken regularly, these steps are guaranteed to help build your happiness and self love muscles!
I recently opened my inbox to find an email from the fabulous Pam Grout called “21 reasons to be of good cheer”. It was a really beautiful tribute to 21 amazing things happening in the world, like charitable donations from mystery people and random acts of kindness. By the end of it I had that gooey, warm, tingly feeling you get when you remember what a beautiful place the world really can be. (I’ve put a link to it at the end of this post so you can experience the gooey-ness for yourself).
It got me thinking about my own reasons to be of good cheer and what brings joy to MY world… and I sat down and came up with the list below. While it’s doesn’t have the global impact that Pam’s list talks about, it highlights all the little things that bring me joy.
I have to say, I do a lot of ‘personal growth’ work, but I totally underestimated how much fun I’d actually have writing this.
When I was finished, I started thinking, “wouldn’t it be great if everyone shared all the beautiful things in their life with the people they love?”
You know how you often get family newsletters at this time of year but sometimes they can be a bit, well... mundane or superficial? This is a much more light-hearted, fun and personal 'newsletter' that really gets to the heart of all the things that brought joy to your own world this year. Imagine the sense of connection we'd get from sharing that with friends and family?
So I encourage you to have a crack at doing this yourself, and share it with someone over email. They'll get to know you better and also have the opportunity to create their own list and bring joy to their world.
24 things that brought Joy to My World in 2015
and as promised, here's the link to the original article that inspired it all! Thanks, Pam...