When Self-Care Gives Pleasure, You Will Be Friendlier To Yourself

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?

Claim Your Brain

My mind, like rusted gears, was not moving well.  It hadn’t been really since my 1st pregnancy 8 years ago.  There are few things that dumb us down as much as pregnancy and children!   Hormone changes, lack of sleep, fluctuating from 145-200-145 pounds three times, and then the subsequent growing beloveds around me to contribute to mental dissociation.  Simple sensory overload from talking, yelling, crying, petitioning, inquiring kids factors in.  You may read more about sensory issues here.

Daily writing, like a staunch governess, found my brain under cobwebs, bug carcasses, and musty stench.  (Hello old friend!  There you are!)  This helps to explain the joy gripping my hand, like girlfriends on the playground, when I sit down to write!  The world is active to me, including rather than excluding me. My in-between moments used to hang like an old woman’s breasts.   Now much more time full of nourishing thoughts bless me.  I am in awe.

My patient came in sighing deeply.  He wasn’t better.  No, he said.  He lacked motivation and interest and connection from the world.  He felt selected out to suffer.  A dumping ground for misfortune and misunderstood.  Efforts through medication, after medication changes were like looking for love in all the wrong places.

We talked about cognitive distortions, tapping into things that used to make him happy, road-blocks in poorly designed neurological grooves – volunteering at the library or animal shelter, journaling, sharing his life story with others, exploring his spirituality.  No.  No good.  Nor could he consider psychotherapy as he’d been through too much of it already to consider it again.  And he just couldn’t get interested in groups such as through NAMI.

His brain, assaulted by stressors, disease, and disuse was growing silent.

Being a friend means yelling, fighting to reclaim your journey, finding something to connect you to your process of life.  My patient was letting squatters take his property simply by being absent.

Self Care Tip #60 – Claim your right to health.  Be a friend to yourself.

Question:  What has helped you connect with your own journey in life?  What do you think?  Please tell me your story.