I have recently been reading articles on what nutritional psychologist Marc David has called "vitamin P", which stands for Pleasure. The connection between pleasure, satisfaction and optimal health are interrelated more than we think! So, if you are packing for a vacation like I am, know that if you are doing what you enjoy, it will reap benefits far more than just getting away for a few days.
Here are a some of my findings:
1. "Even small doses of pleasure can raise our levels of immune-boosting chemicals...
(pleasurable experiences) can offset the pro-inflammatory effects of stress hormones like cortisol, which plays a significant role in many chronic health conditions like heart disease, obesity and diabetes." (Experience Life , July/Aug 2011)
2. We must train ourselves to be aware of the small things that bring us pleasure and appreciate them more. "Happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have." (Frederick Koeing)
3. "The latest happiness research clearly indicates that the secret to a rich, satisfying life isn't found in outward symbols of success, but rather in the experiences that stir us to our core. A mind in the performance 'work mode' doesn't fully participate in or enjoy the reward of play or pleasure." (Joe Robinson)
For me, seeing my neighborhood cardinals come to the bird feeder always lifts my soul. Smelling freshly baked cookies in my oven makes me happy. Sitting outside with my husband after dinner watching my daughter practice her volleyball skills relaxs me and connects me with those I love.
What nourishes you? Some of us need permission to have fun!!!!