Did you know that when you experience pleasure, your brain and body are bathed in health-enhancing and pain-inhibiting chemicals, including nitric oxide, beta-endorphin, serotonin, and dopamine?
This is why YOUR pleasure matters for pain relief and for your overall health and well-being. Starting a pleasure practice can be a great way to get into the habit of experiencing pleasure on a regular basis and reaping the benefits.
If you’re feeling disconnected around pleasure, if you’re experiencing stress, pain, or anxiety around intimacy if pleasure feels like the last thing you want to make time for…
You’re not alone!
And, it is so important to change this.
You deserve to love every inch of yourself, feel completely relaxed and at home inside your own skin, and experience deep satisfying pleasure.
And it’s absolutely possible no matter how impossible it may feel right now.
Replacing fear, pain and disconnection… with love, connection and pleasure – is a simple matter of strengthening your pleasure muscle. I have written extensively on this in the past, you can check out another post here.
Like any muscle, when you don’t exercise it, it atrophies or diminishes. Having a pleasure practice should be as important to you as a healthy diet and exercise. But how can you make pleasure a habit?
Your Pleasure Practice: A Self-Exploration
The first step to exercising your pleasure muscle is to discover what it is that brings you pleasure.
If you haven’t had the desire or bandwidth to pay attention to pleasure in a long time, you may not know the answer to this question.
Your homework this week is to start paying attention to what makes you feel good!
Not what used to make you feel good. Not what should make you feel good. Not what would make you feel good if you weren’t in pain, too busy, too tired, past menopause, etc.
What makes you feel good in your body now?
You may need to do a little research. 🙂
Some examples of things that bring me pleasure are…
- Dancing around my living room
- Breathing consciously
- Petting my cat
- Talking with my daughter
- Basking in the sun
- Spending time near water
- Deep conversations
- Warm baths
Pleasure can be very very simple and easy. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, energy, or money.
I invite you to do some research of your own this week. Start paying attention to what brings you pleasure. Make your own list.
Once you have a list, begin doing one thing on your list every day with the intention of being present with the pleasure you feel in your body as you do.
It could be a 30 second dance break or a 30 minute nap in the warm sun…the length of time doesn’t matter, but allow yourself to feel the pleasure in the experience.
That’s how you build your pleasure muscle – by regularly focusing on and consciously choosing to allow pleasure into your body and life.
This is a very simple but powerful foundational pleasure practice.
A Pleasure Practice: it’s in the details
By paying attention to what brings you pleasure in small ways you are learning about yourself, healing your relationship with pleasure, building the skills of noticing sensation and being present in your body, nourishing your cells, and building the neural pathways that allow you to feel more pleasure.
Remember: you are building the habit of prioritizing YOUR pleasure, and accessing all of the health and life enhancing benefits that that brings. Stop and ask yourself: are my action enhancing my pleasure or pleasing those around me.
If you found this helpful, don’t forget to check out my post, Sexual Pain and the Healing Power of Pleasure.