Happiness is one of those things everyone wants, and most people can't define. Most of us define happiness as being the opposite of something.
Happiness is not being stressed.
Happiness is not having anxiety.
Happiness is not being sad.
Almost all of us feel a lot of desire or even pressure to be happy, and sometimes it's just not that simple or easy. Sometimes being happy is just out of network. That's a problem for everyone. However, for a deliberate creator, it can feel like a double whammy. When you're not feeling happy, you also feel like you've been unplugged from everything you want to create in your life.
Where happiness can at times, feel like a very elusive pursuit, there is a much more accessible alternative. Happiness has a sexy cousin, and that is pleasure. Pleasure is at your fingertips at any moment. It's never too far out there. Pleasure is a given if you just decide to engage it at any given moment.
The good news is: pleasure is also available even if you're not happy. In fact, you can be downright miserable and depressed and still access pleasure. When you do that, you change your brain chemistry in a positive way. Pleasure lights up parts of your brain that release feel-good hormones and brain chemicals faster than almost anything else.
So, what is pleasure? Anything you experience with one of your five senses. It's not something you think. It's something you feel. Pleasure by-passes the logical/thinking center of the brain and gets straight to the reward center of your brain. That is a very good thing.
Here are three ways to engage your senses so you can short-cut your way to feeling good.
At the end of every day keep a written record of something that brought you pleasure in every sensory category. Then make a written plan for how you're going experience pleasure in each sensory category for the next day. Every week increase the number of those experiences you're aiming for by one.
Every time you journal about pleasant sensory experiences your brain lights up as if it's happening then and there. Additionally, when you plan for pleasure, your brain lights up for that also. It pre-experiences the pleasure while you're planning.
So you get three passes at it from a brain chemistry standpoint. Your brain chemistry gets a positive boost from planning it, experiencing it in real time, and then again when you document it. That's powerful stuff when it's leveraged intentionally.
There is a reason social media is full of pictures of food. Much like with the sensory journal the process of taking that photo increases the sensory payoff. Sharing it also increases the brain chemistry uptick.
You get the neurochemical payoff every time you engage with a pleasurable experience. So, by taking a photo of something that tasted amazing, or was beautiful to look at, or something that felt good to touch, you are getting a double hit of feel-good brain chemicals.
It also gives you a visual reference to look back on. Seeing an amazing sunset feels good. Taking the photo makes it feel better. You can go back and look at the photo and feel it all over again.
Playing with the skill of visually capturing images of experiences that engage senses other than sight sharpens your ability to notice and appreciate them.
If an experience is predominantly visual, bring another sense into the forefront intentionally. For example, imagine standing at the edge of the grand canyon. You'd naturally be overwhelmed with the visual of that. After taking that in, you might then take intentionally notice how the wind feels on your face or the pungent green smell of the sage brush.
By intentionally bringing the secondary sensory experience to your dominant attention all of your senses feel sharper.
When you're preparing a meal, instead of simply focusing on flavor, you might want to focus on the aromas or the presentation.
When you're making your bed, instead of focusing just on comfort, you might also focus on the beauty of the space or the smells in your bed or on your sheets.
When you're listening to music, you might want to turn up the volume and focus on the feelings of the vibrations.
Bury your face in some beautiful spring blossom, take in the aroma. Then examine its beauty with a curious eye. Really look at it, not in passing, but in detail.
Get really in tune with senses that wouldn't be in the spotlight in any given experience. Put something else on center stage. You'll appreciate all of your senses more.
Lisa Hayes, The Love Whisperer, is an LOA Relationship Coach. She helps clients leverage Law of Attraction to get the relationships they dream about and build the lives they want. Lisa is the author of the newly released hit book, Score Your Soulmate and How to Escape from Relationship Hell and The Passion Plan.
Posted on 04/18/2017 at 12:37:00 PM