Pain I Want to Avoid; Pleasure I Want to Pursue
(Workbook Page 66, 67)
Turn to page 67 of the Neuroplastic Transformation workbook. There is a worksheet with two columns entitled, “Pain I Want to Avoid” and “Pleasure I want to Pursue.” Follow the instructions. You may add as many pages as you wish, but in the end the number in each column should be equal. At the end of the exercise review both columns one item at a time.
As people mature and enter adulthood, the pursuit of pleasure is often valued less than duty and responsibility. It is given a secondary role in life, reserved for vacation, a night out or some other special activity. People living with persistent pain have a very hard time feeling pleasure. The biology of these processes is such that pain is virtually excluded when pleasure is being experienced. Add to this the lower social value placed upon pleasure and it becomes an increasingly lost pursuit. The fact is that just as pleasure is hard to experience in the face of persistent pain, pain is hard to experience in the face of well being. Since, well-being is described as the experience of a sense of pleasure and of a life well lived, pursuing pleasure is an excellent strategy for undermining persistent pain.