May 19, 2022 3 min read
by Tugce Balik // @tugcebalik
So much power lies in the way we choose to live the small moments in our daily lives. To cultivate a life full of awareness and joy, we need to connect to pleasure. But before we talk about connecting to pleasure, let’s define what we really mean by pleasure.
When you hear the word “pleasure”, you might subconsciously connect this to sexual pleasure. While self-pleasure and sex can be very pleasurable indeed, we need to stretch the parameters of the role pleasure plays in our daily lives. We need to see pleasure as a lifestyle and a way of being, rather than it being exclusively reserved to the bedroom.
Your time and awareness are so precious. What you focus on expands (this is proven scientifically!) Your thoughts affect your mood, which affects your biochemistry and brain’s plasticity. So by choosing to reconnect to yourself through mindful pleasure practices, you are laying the foundation for healthy harmonious interactions with others around you.
To get you started, here are some ways you can cultivate more pleasure in your everyday life:
It might sound cliché but don’t write it off until you try it! Writing therapy is used widely to support people in processing traumatic events from the past, and to facilitate emotional healing. Writing is also a great tool that gives us deeper access to self-awareness by stimulating different areas of our brain.
Keep a daily pleasure journal for 30 days and notice how you feel. Focus on 3 things that met your needs for pleasure that day. This can be anything from a very fulfilling conversation with a loved one, to having a warm cup of coffee while watching the sunrise. The more you get used to focusing on pleasure each and every moment, the more you will see it show up in your everyday life.
Walking is a fantastic way to ground, connect and recharge. You don’t need a goal or a destination, you can simply just walk 15 minutes a day and observe your environment. Try to just walk without any music or podcasts. Rather see if you can simply notice new things about your neighbourhood that you haven’t before.
There are SO many benefits to solo daily walks. Walking helps us to regulate our nervous system and body. It also helps us cultivate mindfulness by connecting with the present moment. Extra restorative points if you live somewhere sunny and can get some sunshine along the way!
Savouring through your senses is exactly what it sounds like. Psychologists define savouring as “attending, appreciating and enhancing positive experiences that occur in one’s life.” And the best way to savour the present moment is by slowing down and connecting to our senses, bringing more awareness to those micro-moments of pleasure.
For example, really taste the food you are chewing, its texture and the complex flavours. You can have a weekly or daily sipping ritual before bed and consume non-alcoholic beverages to help you unwind. You can focus on wearing clothes that make you feel more sensual and bring out more pleasure. For example, you can experiment with wearing loungerie (comfy chic underwear and bralettes without wires or synthetic materials). Focusing on and sensing how what you wear makes you feel, savouring and appreciating the textures on your skin. You can also play with your sense of smell by lighting candles and incense to really create a yummy and cozy environment. All of these mindful rituals signal to your body that you can relax and really savour the moment.
Remember, pleasure is your birthright! By focusing on it, you invite more of it to your life and cultivate it consciously and continuously.