Self-Care Tip #128 – Connect pleasure with self-care. Be a friend to yourself.
There’s a reason we have bad habits in our life. It’s not only the loops, the neurological grooves in our brain, it’s also that they bring pleasure! It’s not so unbelievable understanding obesity, drugs, addictions, poor sleep hygiene, inactivity, whatever it is when we think about the amazing effect that dopamine has on our pleasure center! Ah. Say, “Dopamine!”
Our real question with ourselves should be why we so often expect ourselves to do “good” things if they don’t give us pleasure? How do we expect to stop over-eating if the substitute we offer our biological selves is suffering? How do we expect to exercise, if we’d rather poke needles into our eye-balls than jog a mile?
We’re smart people, we have knowledge and we know what to do. But, knowledge isn’t the answer always. The “language of the heart” is dopamine, is feeling good. How can we link what we want to do with ourselves objectively with feeling good. It would be nice to pair up our dopamine with friendly habits and not those that are self-destructive.
How to do that might be worth some effort figuring out. Figure it out individually if we want it to succeed. The reason for the discussion here is not to give directions, but simply to draw attention to our need to find our own feel-good buttons and how we can wire them up to self-friendly behaviors.
I’m struggling through this also. I hope to share this awareness with my kids before they move out, so I better get busy! Can’t do that too well until I do it well for myself.
Today when I went on a mommy-date with my daughter, instead of taking her to Starbucks, we went and bought Bendaroos. That was all I could come up with in the 10 minute date we had allotted for something feel-good. Maybe she’ll develop shopping addiction instead of food addiction. Time will tell, but I hope she got out of it the pleasure of creating shapes with Bendaroos instead. Hopefully when she get’s creative, dopamine squirts out in her brain like a geyser.
Now, to get back to me…? huh.
You can read a related post here.
Question: How are you linking self-care with pleasure in your life?
- Dumbed by Dopamine (psychologytoday.com)