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Purposeful Pleasure to Improve Your Day

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Specializes in Wellness and Coaching for Women in their Third Act. Has 53 years experience.

Are you too busy tending to others and not to yourself?

This is nothing new, especially for women, and especially nurses.  Our lives seem to revolve around give – give – give and leaves us nothing for ourselves.  It's time to take back the TIME you need to add pleasure to your days.  And I have some ideas to help you with that.

Purposeful Pleasure to Improve Your Day

Before we go there, here is what you need to know about why pleasure is so important for our wellbeing.

According to the late bestselling author, psychologist, and lecturer Paul Pearsall, hard work, sacrifice, and self-denial are less important for our health than the joyful pursuit of a pleasurable balance in our lives. Drawing on the findings in psychoneuroimmunology, he discussed how a happy and pleasurable connection with life and the world around you can boost the body's immune system and cultivate physical and mental wellness.

Let’s explore more of those benefits for not only your health but for your work as well.

Here are the health benefits

1. Improved Heart Health

Several studies have linked happiness with improved heart health and lower risk of heart disease

2. Ability to Combat Stress More Effectively

Multiple studies have found that individuals who are happier have consistently lower stress hormone (cortisol) levels in their blood

3. A Stronger Immune System

Some research has indicated that being happier can support a strong immune system, leading to greater health all round, and the ability to fight infections or disease more effectively

4. Overall Healthier Lifestyle

Happiness has been linked to several positive and highly beneficial health habits that promote a greater sense of wellbeing such as a healthier diet, engaging in more physical activity, and overcoming poor sleeping habits

5. Helps Reduce Pain

Researchers believe that individuals who are happier, have a better perspective and are able to accept new thoughts easily, which can lead to a lower experience of pain especially connected to chronic conditions such as arthritis. 

6. Increases Life Longevity

Researchers believe that because of the impact happiness has on all of the health benefits, it can ultimately help you live a longer life

Here are work benefits

1. Better Decision Making & Creative Problem Solving 

When we’re happier, we tend not to focus on the negatives or stressors as much, allowing more room to think about how to positively get on with challenges

2. Improved Individual and Team Productivity

Happier employees tended to be more productive, whereas unhappy employees were less productive.

3. Better Customer Service Satisfaction

When we feel happy, we’re more likely to express ourselves positively and want to help those around us.

Now that you see the value of adding pleasure to your life, let’s get practical and see how you can make that happen in your overly-scheduled lifestyle. 

Here is a simple strategy to try

1. Make a list of all the little pleasurable activities you love to do that bring you joy. 

Examples:

  •  Looking at a family photo
  •  Listening to an uplifting song
  • Stepping outside to connect with nature
  • Walking away from your desk to look outside
  • Doing some deep breathing   
  • List at least 10 of your ideas here:

2. Analyze your daily calendar for a full week.  

I know - you might be saying -  my week is completely full and there is no space in my days for pleasure!  Just set that busy voice aside for a minute.  

  • Examine all the blocks of time on your calendar that are scheduled
  • Do whatever it takes to enclose all those blocks with lines that cannot be breached.  If you have a paper calendar, draw thick lines around that block.  If you use an electronic calendar, highlight that block with color so it stays independent of any other block.

3. Make a commitment to start and end those commitments on time with whatever is happening in those blocks

It is OK to excuse yourself from a meeting that is running long because you have another commitment.  And if you are running the meeting, you have an obligation to do this because everyone has other things to do as well.

4. Now look at the big picture of your week and notice the open spaces.

  • Do you have more free time than you realize? 
  • What are you doing during that free time? 
  • Is it pleasurable?  yes or no
  • These are perfect spaces to insert pleasurable activities from your list.

 OR –

  • Do you have no open spaces? 
  • Does that mean you are overscheduled?
  • What is that impact on your level of wellness?
  • How can you create blocks of time on your calendar for pleasurable self-care? 

5. Review your weekly schedule one more time with “pleasurable” breaks inserted.

  • What are your feelings about implementing this new strategy? 
  • How do you think your week will change if you do this regularly?
  • What health benefits do you think you will achieve?

Want to go deeper into what pleasure really looks like on you?  Here is a free download so you can dream a little and create your own personal vision of pleasure.

Your Perfect Day of Pleasure .pdf

Please share how you insert pleasure into your weekly schedule and the benefits you receive.


References:

 

 

Inspiring Role Model for Women in their Third Act

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2 Comment(s)

Julie

Specializes in Sm Bus Management, Operations, Planning, HR. Has 38 years experience.

Great perspective! Happiness is something we need to work on at a purposeful level.  It doesn't just happen for some and not for others.  Happiness is relative and different for everyone.  It may seem obvious but still needs to be heard over and over.  Every person has control over their happiness.  I like how you put this out there with a strategy.  Thanks for your valuable contributions.

this is my e mail and I will not change it to get in I understand but I do want to know my diagnoses