A Dose of Pleasure Thursday – Accentuate the Positive

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“Good fortune shies away from gloom. Keep your spirits up. Good things will come to you and you will come to good things.” – Glorie Abelhas

When was the last time you felt great (and by great, I mean I-just-can’t-stop-smiling-I-feel-so-great)? How much of your time is spent celebrating what’s great about you and your life as opposed to complaining about yourself and your life?

Ask questions like these and I tend to get a response that sounds something like this:

“I’d like to feel great, but… (insert appropriate issue here including the economy sucks, my spouse sucks, my job sucks, life is hard, etc.)

Are you one of those “butters?” If so, don’t be so hard on yourself. Life in today’s world has made feeling anything but great an art form. Turn on the TV and check out the news – do you see anyting to feel great about there? Flip through a fashion magazine and notice how looking at the images depicting beauty make you feel. Yep, it can be tough to feel good when bad stuff is always front and center in your attention.

Succumbing to negativity seriously drains your pleasure tank. And believe me – when you’re running on fumes, life ain’t pretty.

So what do you do to turn it around? Here are a few suggestions to help:

  • Banish bad news – don’t watch the news. In fact, go on a media fast for one week. Don’t worry – if something major happens, you’ll get wind of it. I want you to get choosey about what sort of information you allow into your head. Do you need to read yet another article about the state of the economy? Do you need to see another news snippet reporting about murder, a health care crisis, and/or disease? While you’re letting go of the news, you might want to try an entire media fast – no TV, news radio, magazines, etc. One week of living media-free can show you how much you’re being affected by what you choose to read, watch, listen to. Here’s what you can do instead – focus on positive news. Try tuning into this Web site daily and soaking in the goodness.
  • Surround yourself with positivity – have you ever gotten together with a friend and noticed that you spent the entire time complaining about your respective lives? Is complaining really the best use of your time? It isn’t if you want more pleasure in your life. Try this for a week – no complaining, only bragging about what’s great in your life. Perhaps you’ve lost your job and are feeling stressed about money. Rather than complain to your friend, brag about the fact that you have more free time on your hands in which to do things that you enjoy. I know, I know – this is a tough one. Try it. If you need a little help with this, check out A Complaint Free World. You can also have uplifting messages delivered to your inbox to remind you to focus on the good. My favorites are TUT and Daily G. My favorite new item is this delightful Ordinary Sparkling Inspiration Deck which offers up inspiration on little cards. I keep these near my desk in an attractive box and pull one out when I need a little positivity.
  • Turning the negative around – when something happens that you judge as bad (like your flight being delayed, having to stay late at work, not getting the promotion you wanted, etc.), find the good in it. Ask yourself this question: What’s great about ___________ (insert complaint here)?There’s always a gift in what happens to you in life, but you need to recognize it before you can receive it.
  • Add a little sweat – I’m a big fan of getting the old blood pumping to banish negativity. Now there’s an amazing workout that not only reshapes your body but your mind. IntenSati is a workout that combines aerobics, martial arts, yoga, dance, and conditioning with feel-good affirmations. Basically, you get an endorphin boost from the workout AND you feel completely empowered thanks to the positive affirmations that you recite throughout the workout. Of course you can just put on some music and dance around your house or you could go for a walk – just find whatever type of exercise you enjoy and do it daily.

It won’t happen overnight but little by little you might just notice your mood lightening. You have to train yourself to look for the good because most often the focus is on the bad. But with a little practice, you can be feeling great.

Have a pleasure-filled day,


Diane Cesa is a yoga practitioner and teacher, lover of life, tea drinker, adventurer, eternal optimist, nature fan, blogger and self-proclaimed pleasure maven.