Did you know that there’s power in your pleasure? Or rather, you hold the power to direct your pleasure, which can be a mighty tool as you improve your health. It starts with understanding your biology.
But you might ask: How can pleasure be used to improve my health, when it is the pursuit of pleasure (cookies, wine) that got me into trouble in the first place?
Excellent question! Please allow me to explain.
When the idea of quitting sugar comes up, most people resist strongly: They immediately think of life-without-chocolate, and start feeling deprived before they even start!
That’s your dopamine system at work. Dopamine is the primary neurochemical associated with motivation, pleasure and reward. Your brain and body love dopamine, and will motivate you to do things that will give you a hit of it. Research has shown that even thinking about something pleasurable, like going on vacation or having dessert, will release dopamine.
Dopamine is powerful stuff, but by knowing how it works you can use it to your advantage.
When you rely on sweet treats as your primary source of pleasure, you are training your dopamine system to become dependent on that form of pleasure. But if you diversify your sources of pleasure, your brain still gets plenty of dopamine from doing other things — even when you take out the cookies.
Let’s say you have a habit of having a few pieces of chocolate at 3:00 in the afternoon; you look forward to it and it rewards you for doing good work. There are several strategies you can use to give yourself a similar dose of pleasure so you won’t feel so deprived when you take the chocolate out of your routine. Some other sources of pleasure could include:
– walking barefoot in the grass
– drinking a delicious cup of herbal tea
– giving yourself a full body stretch
– talking to a friend
– taking some deep breaths outside.
I know, I know! These things probably don’t sound nearly as delicious as the chocolate does right now. But that’s not necessarily all about the chocolate itself: It’s also about the way you’ve conditioned yourself for the chocolate habit—the anticipation, the ritual. When you fill your life with other pleasurable things and condition yourself for different rituals, taking out the sweet treats isn’t such a big deal.
Understanding pleasure and reward is one of the first lessons in my course Breaking Free from Sugar — it’s that important. In the course I also explain the three different ways we become dependent on sugar:
– Physiologically (3 ways)
– Emotionally, and
Are you ready for a sugar reset? The first week of the program is currently free, so head on over to BreakingFreefromSugar.com to sign-up. If you know you’ll want more support than doing the class on your own, then sign-up for the program with 1:1 coaching for the Full Wrap-Around Experience. Not sure which way is best for you? Then sign-up for a discovery call and we’ll figure it out together.
I can’t wait for you to experience the freedom that comes from being out of the clutches of sugar. Really. It will change your life. You get to experience a sense of personal agency that was always undermined by being out of control with bread and treats. And, you take away whole categories of unnecessary mind chatter, including being concerned about what you can eat, and all the denigrating self-talk that comes after a binge. If you’re tired of being sabotaged by your own brain and body, then give me a call! I got you covered.