Chasing Pleasure and Creating Pain

Our culture has evolved into a never ending pursuit of pleasure and ultimately attempting to escape pain.

The pain of our jobs, our relationships (or lack thereof), our self image and our bodies, a lack of fulfillment form our work and the “stuckness” stemming from a lack of forward process in our lives.

What better way to temporarily provide relief than an external stimulus thats gives us the antidote?

Getting the hit from an amazon prime purchase showing up at our door the day after we order it.

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30 minutes of numbing euphoria after the second glass of wine

The first few bites from the “treat or cheat meal”

And then the feeling of vacancy that follows soon after.

We have become dependent on the external in attempt to fill the internal, but the happiness achieved as a result is fleeting and unsatisfying, leaving us to chase the dragon.

The pleasure derived from “the hit” temporarily alleviates our anxiety and depression but the come down from the high always has the last word.

This leaves us in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction, discontentment and deep rooted frustration that something is “missing”

UCSF endocrinologist Dr. Robert Lustig clarifies that there are seven key differences between pleasure and happiness.

Pleasure is short-lived; happiness is long-lived.

Pleasure is visceral; happiness is ethereal.

Pleasure is taking; happiness is giving.

Pleasure can be achieved with substances; happiness cannot be achieved with substances.

Pleasure is experienced alone; happiness is experienced in social groups.

The extremes of pleasure all lead to addiction, whether they be substances or behaviors. Yet there’s no such thing as being addicted to too much happiness.

Finally and most importantly, pleasure is tied to dopamine (the pleasure biochemical/neurotransmitter), and happiness is tied to serotonin (the happiness biochemical/neurotransmitter).

There is nothing wrong with experiencing pleasure, as it’s one of the best human experiences we can have, but it needs to be in balance with creating happiness and in congruence with our idealized version of self.

The majority of our food issues, problems and struggles with losing weight stem from two root causes:

1. Past trauma

2. Inability to influence one’s emotional state in accordance with long term goals and desired experiences.

The real reason why we love food, struggle with sugar or junk food addictions and find ourselves in the cycle of “dietary self sabotage” is chasing pleasure to escape the pain.

Pain of something that may have been done to us, or pain that we inflict upon ourselves as a result of the mind acting on itself which can be seen in cases of stress or anxiety.

It may not be our fault, but it is our responsibility. 

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5 STEPS TO CREATING HAPPINESS AND THE BODY YOU LOVE

  1. The first step in creating happiness is to accept and take full responsibility for the position we are in, no matter where it may be. Failure to do so only prolongs the suffering.

  2. The second step is to having a clear set of values and beliefs that demonstrate and determine who and what we are which brings about confidence, certainty and clarity in ourselves.

  3. The third step is to have our own personal “recipe” for what brings us emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well being, the result of which is joy and happiness. 

  4. The fourth step is to have a series of commitments that bring about these four areas of well being.

  5. The final step being a plan to consistently and persistently follow through on these commitments  which leads to your personal evolution of being.

Creating long term change in your life and as a result, your body has very little to do with what is “out there” but instead re-remember and reconnecting with what is “in here”

Happiness, self-esteem, body confidence are all a direct reflection of staying true to yourself and continually re-creating yourself in the higher vision you hold of the person you want to become.

“If you don’t go within, you go without”