Pleasure and Desire
Let’s talk pleasure and desire.
Your human brain desires pleasure, it has evolved to do so.
Let’s break down pleasure:
Natural pleasures include: eating healthy food, warmth, sex, cleanliness, accomplishment, exercise, and connection.
When you do something that provides you with pleasure, what happens in your brain is that you get a dopamine hit.
Dopamine is pleasure.
Your brain then notes the reward of pleasure and files it as important.
When pleasure becomes a problem:
Man-made pleasures include: porn, sugar, flour, white powders, gambling, alcohol, tv, social media, and anything concentrated.
Let’s call these false pleasures.
These false pleasures give your brain a super-hit of dopamine, telling your brain that these are super-important, resulting in a super-desire.
Dopamine floods your brain, messing with your brain chemically and confusing you as to what is exactly important.
Your brain believes that these false pleasures are more important than anything else because of the super-hit of dopamine.
And then on top of that, your brain’s receptor sites for the dopamine become less sensitive, so you need more of it to feel the same hit; and at the same time, your desire gets stronger and stronger.
Your brain becomes wired to believe that your life is better with false pleasures because of the big-hitting dopamine.
False pleasures become a habit and a lifestyle.
You become accustomed to the big-hit false pleasures and inversely natural pleasures don’t feel so great to you.
How to down-regulate dopamine:
Honestly, there is a bit of withdrawal.
There is a period where your brain has to down-regulate from the big-hits.
You have to go a period of time where you don’t feel a lot of pleasure from the natural pleasures because your brain became sensitized to the big-hitters.
The good news is that you are not doomed.
Your brain can re-wire.
Your dopamine for natural pleasures will come back.
It is a hard sell to stick with natural pleasures.
You may think that life is not as great without false pleasures.
The problem with false pleasures is that they are always outside of you and the amount you will need to feel the dopamine will always increase.
And at some point, maybe already, you will need to consume the false pleasure to feel normal.
Can you imagine your life without man-made pleasure?
Are you denying yourself dopamine from natural pleasure because you are hooked on man-made pleasure?
You have free-will. You get to decide, there is no right decision.
But I encourage you to make the decision, to zoom out, to ask yourself some questions, and deliberately decide what you want your life to look like.
Whichever you pick you will get more of.
You can train your brain to desire natural pleasures.
You can untrain your brain from its desire of false pleasure.
Whichever you go after then your brain will get on board.
The trick is in deciding from your prefrontal, the part of the human brain that can plan and consider your future.
Pleasure is important and has a purpose; how do you want to use it in your life?
Choose to get the dopamine from what you want more of in your life.
Train your brain to desire what serves the bigger version of you, the future you that you will become.
How would your life change if you got genuine pleasure from natural pleasure?
Who do you desire to become?