Pleasure and How to Access It More Often - Where Do You Fit on the Pleasure Scale?

Written by Paul Wolf

What stands between you and a more pleasurable life? Feelings of guilt? Low self-esteem?  Aquestions about pleasure reliance on alcohol or food? All of these can keep you from fully experiencing the pleasures in each day. 

These 10 questions from The Pleasure Zone, by Stella Resnick, Ph.D., are not intended as a scientific evaluation. Your yes-or-no questions are merely a tool for self-discovery.
Think about the questions to which you answer "yes." These are the areas in which you need to develop your pleasure skills.

1. Do you typically deny yourself what you most enjoy : foods you prefer but have convinced yourself are bad for you, work breaks to relax and replenish your energy, little treats and presents?

2. Do you usually feel guilty that you're not doing enough for someone or accomplishing enough?
3. Are you a naysayer, more likely to say no to an invitation or a new idea than yes?
4. Do you have a hard time acknowledging your success, feeling like an impostor at times or denigrating your accomplishments?
5. Do you secretly or openly think of yourself as a victim, powerless to do anything about a bad situation?
6. Do you believe that love requires sacrifice and that the only way anyone will love you is if you forfeit your own needs and desires to theirs?
7. Do you abuse food, alcohol or drugs, and do you feel you can't have a good time without your favorite substance?

8. Is sex less than wonderful; marred by guilt or shame and limited in passion?

9. Do you have to be in control of a situation, getting competitive with companions who make alternate suggestions and finding it difficult to kick back and relax?
10. Do you feel uncomfortable with solitude, making busywork to keep yourself occupied when you're alone?

Photographer: Robert Magorien

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