Sunday, December 9, 2007

Measuring Self-Pleasuring

"Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it."... Thomas Jefferson

"My mind is my most important digestive organ. If I put junk food in my mind, I will be malnourished. I'm willing to let go & to make changes. It's time."....
Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

Everything is about choice & that includes how we choose to pleasure ourselves, including how much! The holidays are one of those times when it's not uncommon to pull out all the stops. Unfortunately, be it shopping or any other example of over-pleasuring, the piper will be paid, be it in a larger than life credit card statement, or a larger than life Self on the scale.

Watch out for the hooks...

It's so easy to fall in love.....& with so many choices, one must be careful to look for that hook. As a clinical hypnotherapist, I work all day, removing hooks & healing the wounds. Some people are so in love with a particular brand of hook, that they actually go out to find another one just like the one that was previously removed. This can even happen before the old wounds are healed, as if the new one will help that process along.

While the love-ordained bait may change, one's hook-preference often remains the same. This is very common in the realm of addictions, be they chemical, food-related or even in relationships. Stop smoking & eat sugar. Stop drinking & drink more coffee. Cut out the coffee & increase the soda. Stop buying shoes & hang out in the book store. Divorce an abusive mate & find another one.

People find pleasure in the strangest things. One of my anorexic patients finds her joy in keeping her weight as low as possible. It doesn't seem to matter that her body is suffering & some of the damage she is causing is permanent, or is setting her up for plenty of displeasure down the road. For her, it is unacceptable to change this hook for a healthier one.

Helping this patient to move away from this pleasure-state & into something would be much more difficult without utilizing hypnotherapy. In hypnotic trance the patient's resistance & defensiveness can be lowered. Here is where the power of choice words & metaphor comes into play.

Fear of letting go the hook is always a hypnotherapeutic consideration. It's not uncommon for pleasure-words to cover this particular emotional barrier. The individual can actually set up a belief that the activity or behavior is pleasurable, when subconsciously they are simply frightened of letting go of it.

I have experienced this myself, in relation to a few of my own pleasures. Shopping was one of these. It wasn't until I self-examined my shopping behaviors & habits that I uncovered how truly tense they made me. Certainly that tension increased when my credit card arrived. Working with spending habits often opens the subconscious library for indepth personal development work. What one finds beneath the surface is often quite illuminating.

Why do so many people have unhealthy pleasures? That's a question I've often asked myself & especially when I meet up with such a vast variety of these in my office practice. An answer, or at least a partial answer, to this question can be found in lack of knowledge & practice of stress management. Take a look at how you release your stress on a given day. You will find the patterns there. Check if they are healthy or harmful. Try to be honest.

While stopping for a drink on the way home may not appear to be a big thing, check this behavior for frequency, as well as the level of desire. How would you respond if you couldn't do it anymore? I heard a lady tell her friend that she would absolutely die if she couldn't binge on popcorn in the movie theater. While that might sound like an exaggeration, this is not the first time I've heard words such as these connected to stopping a potentially harmful behavior.

So, check out your pleasures & give them the litmus test. If they need some cleaning up, decide how you will go about doing this for yourself. At the same time, make certain that you are developing new stress management techniques that will grow into healthy pleasures......if you give them a fair shot.


"Tis the season of over-indulgence & so I'd like to offer you a sample mp3 session from a program I've designed for Compulsive Shopping. Here's your opportunity to program your mind to enjoy your shopping experience, while managing those out of control emotions that tend to take over, especially during this time of year. This program also assists in managing other compulsive behaviors. The entire program is available on my websites.