Wellbeing Series: Savouring Pleasure is the first article in a collection of articles I’ll be writing with different coaching and counselling themes. Other themes will include Mindfulness, Performance and Leadership.
Pleasure is one of the characteristics researched in positive psychology and it contributes to our overall wellbeing. in coaching we can look at ways to enhance feelings of pleasure. Pleasure can be intense, aroused, and sharp- we then call it joy or ecstasy. But it can also be quiet, mellow and diffuse and we most likely call it contentment or serenity. Regardless of the range of pleasurable feelings, we know it feels good and if we don’t seek it restlessly, we at least greatly appreciate it when we experience itt. Yet some of us overlay guilt and shame and find it indulgent to experience pleasure or just find it wrong.
Next time something good (pleasurable) happens stop and notice it. It might be a compliment someone at work gave you, a good grade on a paper you were writing for uni, a delicious meal, an engaging conversation or a spontaneous adventure.
Here are some coaching strategies for savouring pleasure:
- Share your experience with others. If possible tell others how much you enjoyed the experience.
- Memory Building. Take a mental photograph, or even a physical souvenir (like a feather from the park), give the event a name and reminisce about it with others.
- Self-congratulate. Don’t be afraid of pride. Tell yourself how impressed others are of you and remember how long you have you waited for this to happen.
- Sharpen your perception. Focus on certain elements of the experience and block out others.
- Absorption. Let yourself get totally immersed in the pleasure and try not to think about other matters.
Doing these activities right now will help you feel good but can you imagine if you made a daily habit of savouring pleasure? Positive emotions contribute to a sense of wellbeing, they are not the only thing but pleasurable experience is something we can all almost agree that we are grateful for in our lives. I like to enjoy the morning sun with a cup of coffee in my PJ’s outside, I breathe, soak in the green of the surrounding nature and let my body just bask in the warm glowing sensations that I experience. If I take this short amount of time in the morning the day seems to flow with greater ease. Try it sometime and see for yourself.
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Editor: Marion Millerby