|What a blissful moment feels (and looks) like|
St-Laurent River, QC
Finishing my workout at the gym, listening to my favorite cool down music, enjoying the stretch, and, I'm not gonna lie, noticing all the hot bods pumping iron all around...
I'm having a weight lifter's high! I feel like skipping about, throwing flower petals and telling everyone how beautiful they are. No kidding. I have it bad!
Who would have known this phenomenon existed? Everyone talks about the runner's high, but what about all those other "highs" that certain experiences in life can provide? Well, if you dig, you soon discover that endorphins (neurotransmitters associated with the runner's high and other feelings of euphoria) are produced not only during running, but also during exercise in general, and with "excitement, pain, consumption of spicy food, love, and orgasm". (See Wikipedia under Endorphins)
|Hot peppers could spice up your life!|
As for me, I must have very active endorphin pathways, because I regularly get that feeling of profound well-being and joy (you could call it bliss), in all kinds of situations that too often are just overlooked.
I might not be the only one. My friend A recently commented on her latest camping trip as it being "pure heaven", and my friend B shared a picture of her morning cup of coffee... taken on her back deck, overlooking the forest. The accompanying comment showed she had found her bliss, right there in that simple moment.
The nice thing about those "highs" is that you can get them out of extremely simple, free, available-to-all, experiences. What matters is not to have the material means to enjoy life, but rather to have the mental means to do so.
And, non-negligible detail, I believe that the "bliss-aptitude" can be developed.
You can start small. For example, with skies. Skies are one of my weaknesses. They have a way of making me blissful. Whenever I see a beautiful or simply an unusual sky, I stop right in my tracks, I pause, and I take it all in. Often, I express my amazement out loud.
I was not even aware of it until I noticed that my daughters will exclaim in awe whenever they see a nice or special sky. And I realized I was responsible for that. I had taught them - unconsciously - to find wonder in a sky.
|Peggy's Cove, NS|
My own mother, a generation ago, had taught me to be amazed by all kinds of nature's gifts, such as flowers, birds, and insects.
Discovering an ants' nest with the kids...
I'm as excited as they are. Really!
Mom also taught me how to get into a trance just by listening to music. It comes in handy more often than you would imagine. Tonight, on my way to the gym, I got stuck in traffic. But as I was slowly becoming annoyed, one of my favorite tunes played on the radio. Poof! Annoyance was gone. Bliss filled the - motionless - car.
There are so many examples of free, blissful inducing stimuli. And since they are so good for you (as opposed to addictions, which have adverse effects), becoming more aware of their presence in our everyday life is worth the effort.
Today, I marveled at the perfectly warm sun rays, accompanied by a nice summer breeze, that made the temperature on my skin absolutely impeccable (and delightful). In the course of my busy day, I could have failed to notice it. But as soon as I felt a hint of well-being, I paused, tried to figure out what had caused it, and then just reveled in it.
On a different day I might have listened to the rain falling, or looked at it fill puddles.
I even find bliss in public libraries. I seriously do.
Or having a chat with an elderly person. (Did today, with my neighbor).
Come to think of it... drinking a tall glass of water, when you're super thirsty, could be one of the best feelings ever. (Epicurus would most likely agree.)
What I'm trying to say is... when you are opened to a blissful experience, it comes to you.
Today I would like to know:
- Do wonder, joy and bliss come to you easily?
- What are your favorite sources of free, simple pleasure?
- What do you think you could do to increase the frequency of your blissful moments?
- Has someone taught bliss to you, or have you taught it to someone?
- How does it make you feel to read a post on this topic?
- Anything else you would like to share about simple joys?
For more on highs and simple pleasures:
(Click to open the page in another window; please do not hesitate to comment on those past posts!)
For more on endorphins: