A life rich in pleasure is a happy life. The pursuit of pleasure is a noble cause. Everyone wants to feel good about themselves and have more of what makes them happy.
It’s a need that sits at the core of human nature itself. So do the numbers, see how much pleasure you’re actually getting out of your life and raise the bar.
But can something like pleasure even be measured?
Pleasure means a lot of things to different people. Each person experiences it differently and has a unique take on what brings them joy and what doesn’t. We talk about ‘not getting enough pleasure’ and ‘that’s too much pleasure to take’, but quantifying such an abstract idea leaves many puzzled.
Is there a way to measure how you feel?
Perhaps, there is. You only have to look at all the things that cause pleasure. A hug from a relative you have not seen in a long time. A compliment on a haircut or outfit. Praise at work. These are all the places to search for pleasure.
And good news, each such moment can be counted.
The simplest way to measure pleasure in your life
Let’s work on this together and see where you can increase satisfaction with your life. In order for this to work, you’ll need to be honest with yourself. No one else is going to see this after all.To make this process easy, we’re going to break your life broadly into four categories to give you a more specific direction when measuring pleasure. If you like numbers, then score each area using a basic 1-to-10 scale.
If you’re not a numbers person, then write ‘I’m somewhat satisfied’, ‘I’m very satisfied’ and ‘I’m not satisfied’ for each area. The idea is to get a general sense of your satisfaction levels rather than judge yourself. That’s it.
Now let’s evaluate the four areas:
- SELF: How do you feel about yourself? Are you satisfied with the way you look, how much you weigh, how you care for yourself or your values and growth?
- CAREER: Are you excited to go to work in the morning? Are you happy in your current line of work? Are you satisfied with your level of education or professional development?
- FAMILY & FRIENDS: Are you happy with the people you’ve surrounded yourself with? Does their presence bring you joy? Are these relationships meaningful and supportive?
- LOVE: Are you satisfied with your love life? Is your sex life pleasurable? When it comes to love, consider every single detail whether it’s flirting or self-care after a night of passion. A Surecheck test is one way to ensure your peace of mind.
Now, no matter what the results are, know that there’s nothing wrong with you. Especially if you happen to score low. Life has its ups and down. You’ll thrive in some areas and struggle in others. There’s no permanent state of perfect pleasure and bliss. Living would be boring otherwise.
Approach any results with self-compassion and an opportunity for self-evaluation. All any of us can do is strive to be a bit better than the day before and work on our personal development.
Now that you know your score, let’s find ways to improve your levels of pleasure
Determine what would bring more enjoyment in each of these four categories by selecting a single, attainable goal. It’s best to think of something that’s simple and doable right now without having to introduce a drastic change to your life. The aim is to build momentum so that change can happen effortlessly and consistent small wins build up towards big lasting changes.
Take self-esteem for instance. What is it you can do to feel even slightly more content with your physical or emotional state? Simple goals here can be setting up a better sleep routine, or reducing time spent on social media. You don’t have to spend money to accomplish either (compared to an entire wardrobe overhaul for instance), and you benefit from an immediate positive impact on both body and mind.
A good rule of thumb, in general, is to see where you can reduce stress and where you can enrich your life with pleasurable experiences. Sometimes it’s enough to nurture yourself, plan a day with fun activities like going to a museum or an art exhibition, and treat yourself to a wonderful meal.
To get more satisfaction out of your friendships, you can make a conscious decision to talk to your closest friends more frequently. Or arrange a movie night to make new memories. In adulthood, maintaining close friendships requires persistence. With your job, an example goal could be to look into what new skills you’d like to develop through a training course, or research new career opportunities.
If you’re single, an example goal is to go out and socialize, or ask friends to set you up. Blind dates are a wonderful way to approach dating with a little sense of adventure. If you’re in a committed relationship, think of a new way to spend time with each other.
Since we’re on the topic of love, how do you get more out of your romantic relationship?
Love and pleasure walk hand in hand. Between physical chemistry and deep emotional intimacy, for many a healthy caring relationship is the source of the most pleasure and happiness. Out of coworkers, family and friends, your partner is the person you spend the most time with (especially if you live together or are married with children). If your relationship doesn’t run smoothly, most other areas in your life are likely to suffer.
So how do we go about improving your relationship?Every relationship could be a bit better no matter what it looks like. Soulmates are not found.
They’re made and having a partner that’s as trustworthy as a Surecheck test requires work. This work begins with a certain level of self-awareness of your role as a partner in the relationship and what you want out of it.
Assess where you are as a couple. Are you living together? Do you want to get to this step? Do you share big life goals? What about values? How is your communication? Is time spent together fulfilling? Are you getting enough satisfaction in the bedroom? Answering these questions requires a lot of reflection and an unflinching look at what’s left unspoken.
Armed with this knowledge, it’s time to involve your significant other. Honest, but compassionate, communication is needed to address any failings or mistakes. Only then can you both work towards a common goal.
Trouble in the bedroom is easily resolved by a collaborative exploration of each other’s bodies. Take the time to be present for each other in the bedroom, and listen to each other’s needs. Now is the time to play and guide each other to discover new areas of sensual pleasure. Of course, physical intimacy isn’t the end all be all. One of the keys to happiness in any romantic relationship whether it’s just begun or has had decades to mature is to stay present with each other.
Dedicate time to go out on dates and build that initial sexual charge that comes so naturally during the honeymoon period. It’s common to grow complacent once the rose-colored glasses come off, and you settle into a rhythm. Pleasure does not thrive in such an environment for long.
Notice what brings you joy and build on that foundation. Talking and showing up for each other is how you stoke the flames of a love that lasts.
Good luck on your journey towards more pleasure
You’re now ready to go forth and claim the life you’re meant to have. As you progress, make sure to look back at where you started and write down your successes. It helps to have a written record of what you’ve accomplished so that you’re able to appreciate how far you’ve come.
Life is unpredictable and nobody can predict what will come their way, but find peace in the things you can control and be calm enough to accept the ones you cannot. Take pride where you can and above all be kind to yourself.
Self-awareness and self-compassion are ultimately the best tools to build a happy life even in the face of life’s biggest challenges.