When we experience any of the 4 forms of pleasure; physical-sensual, sexual, emotional, or spiritual, it triggers the release of some highly beneficial, life enriching hormones and chemistries in the brain and body.
Many of these brain and body chemistries have anti-aging, health supporting and mood enhancing effects that are absolutely crucial for maintaining a happy heart, a strong, healthy body, and a balanced, peaceful mind.
Our cultural orientation to pleasure is wrought with conflict. We are conditioned to believe that some forms of pleasure are acceptable and should be enjoyed regularly (i.e. good food, good friends, good coffee), and other forms of pleasure are ignored, frowned upon, or not discussed openly, especially if they enter the realm of sensual and sexual expression.
But what if our sensual and sexual pleasure was a form of medicine that allowed the body to heal and regenerate itself?
What if all 4 forms of pleasure were a built in guidance system, giving us clear direction to which experiences were truly serving us in life, and which were not?
Wouldn’t it behoove us to become more aware of the pleasure that already exists in our lives, and strive to cultivate more of those experiences for ourselves and everyone around us?
By becoming conscious of how and where the 4 forms of pleasure are already showing up in your life, you can begin actively reaping the rewards of this built- in, life- enriching mechanism.
The 4 forms of pleasure are:
Physical/sensual pleasure (relates directly to each of the 5 senses, sight, sound, taste, touch.)
Each of the 4 forms of pleasure have an array of beneficial chemistries that are produced in the body when we experience them. Some of these amazing, pleasure -generated, “happy hormones” are;
Oxytocin- Oxytocin is stimulated through touch and is linked to personality, passion, social skills, emotional quotient, all of which affect career, marriage, emotional health, and social skills. Oxytocin is stimulated in the body through touch and sexual orgasm.
Phenylethylamine - This brain chemistry has an anti-depressant effect and helps us feel more alert, and a sense of well-being and contentment. It can be released in the body through experiencing visual pleasure, sexual pleasure, and is found in chocolate (yay!)
Endorphins- There over 20 different types of endorphins. The act as natural pain killers, lower stress, and improve immune system function. They induce a general sense of well- being, cause feelings of euphoria, and relaxation. Some also increase confidence.
Endorphins are released through laughter (emotional pleasure), physical contact (touch), and exercise.
Sex is also a potent trigger for endorphin release.
The practice of meditation has also been shown increase the amount of endorphins released in your body. (Spiritual pleasure!)
Serotonin- Serotonin is generally thought of as a “feel-good” hormone. It helps people to feel relaxed and contented. Serotonin can be generated in the brain by pleasurable activities such as; exercise (movement), sunlight (connecting with the elements),eating wholesome foods containing tryptophan and Vitamin B6, and sexual orgasm.
Given all of this, one might think that the human body is actually designed for pleasure, and that if we allow ourselves to fully experience all 4 forms of pleasure, we become healthier in body, mind and spirit. I’m convinced, how about you?