We can always do with a dose of more pleasure. Even if you consider yourself a relatively positive and content person, there may be times when you just feel numb to the world around you or you feel as though you are blindly moving from one task to the next, always scanning the horizon and never taking a breath in the moment. Pleasure is a high emotion and isn’t something that can be sustained every minute of the day; it’s a collection of fleeting ‘feel good right now’ stimuli that serve to help raise our dopamine levels. Here’s how to bring more of that delicious dopamine into your day…
Make a List
Knowing your pleasures is one of the best ways to start weaving them into your world. Sit down with a piece of paper and make a list of all the things in life that bring you joy. Think big, think small – whether it’s a slant of sunlight on skin or an hour with a book, sending a text or cuddling your cat – once you have acknowledged these pure pleasures you can start finding ways to make them a priority and work them into your day.
Back to Nature
We aren’t talking about a daily five-mile hike but even just five minutes strolling around the local park can raise your pleasure levels. The natural world has long been an antidote to blue feelings, so much so it is even starting to be prescribed by doctors. Not only will being outdoors bring that much-needed dose of Vitamin D but it helps strips our lives back to simplicity, giving us a much-needed break from social constraints and helping us tap into our personal autonomy. Plus, nature is just very pretty.
Go for Gratitude
While the term gratitude journal may make you groan they really can work especially when you are feeling far from the field of pleasure. The best thing about a gratitude journal is the fact that it doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, you simply jot down five things (or more) you are grateful for that day – no matter how small and simple. Gratitude journals are proven to bring pleasure as they help you to clear out the clutter and home in on the things that make you happy. They also reduce stress levels, lead to better sleep, and provide a private zone for you to stash all your happy thoughts to turn to when you are feeling blue.
Tap into your Inner Child
Remember when you were a child and thought about all the awesome things about being a grownup? Eating ice-cream, riding rollercoasters, watching movies in bed all day – whatever you imagined bringing you pleasure as a child try and carve out some space for them in your grownup world. While we can’t always be eating ice-cream and riding rollercoasters, we can once in a while and it’s those pure innocent pockets of joy that help sustain us.
Make a Photo Board
Another simple idea that seems too easy - a photo board is an amazing way to instantly tap into visually triggering pleasure. Fill your photo board with printed pics of meaningful places and people you love. But don’t stop there – add pictures of yourself doing the things you adore or pictures of yourself at times in your life when you felt strong and happy. When you are feeling in a slump or low on self-esteem, this picture board will be an instant pick me up.
There’s nothing more pleasurable than making a decision and staying true to yourself. Practising authenticity brings power, truth, strength and a large dose of feel-good dopamine along with it. It can be so tricky to be authentic in this hectic modern world when all we want to do is please people but working towards bringing your authentic self to the surface will lead to a higher quality of living overall.
How do you bring more pleasure to your world? Share ideas in the comments and lets all jack up our joy levels.