I read an interesting piece a few months back about the positive effects of hedonism on health that rang so true to me that I simply must share it with you. Now before you go running off we need to get some definitions straight here. When most of us think of hedonism an image of debauchery, the extreme indulgence in physical pleasure, pops into our heads. Hedonism actually has its philosophical roots from the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus. His school of thought promoted the savouring of moderate pleasures, respecting one another and showing <a href="http://Gratitude“>gratitude all while pursuing a harmonious life without riches or glory.
It occurred to me that hedonism is actually about slowing down and taking time. Fundamentally, it’s the basis of the slow food, slow fashion, slow gardening, slow-you-name-it movement. Carlo Petrini is credited as the father of the Slow Movements. His highly visible 1986 protest against the opening of a McDonald’s at the Spanish Steps in Rome really brought the Slow Movement into the public eye.
At its heart the Slow Movement is about
“Savouring the hours and minutes rather than just counting them. Doing everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible. It’s about quality over quantity in everything from work to food to parenting.” Carl Honoré
And there’s that word again, savouring.
So, how does all this hedonistic savouring help our health? The psychologist Desirée Kozlowski explains it best over a coffee:
“Maximising pleasure, unlike with debauchery or addiction, need not take the form of more, bigger, better. Instead, we savour everyday pleasures. We relish them while they’re happening, using all our senses and attention, actively anticipate them, and reflect on them in an immersive way.
So, if my morning coffee gives me pleasure, I might pause and relish it while I drink it: inhale the fragrance of it fully and focus on the nuanced warm, smoky, bitter deliciousness of it. I should fully attend to the warmth of it in my hands, to the feeling of it in my mouth, and to the cascade of sensations and flavours it delivers.
Not only that, in the morning, before my coffee, I can anticipate it. I can think how lovely it will be. And later, as I go about my day, I can pause and think about that coffee, about just how warm and good it was, how it smelled and tasted.
In other words, I can immerse myself in these moments, in the anticipation, in the drinking itself, and in the remembering, and bring all my attention to them. This kind of savouring results in a totally different, and richer, experience than if I absent-mindedly gulp down the coffee while dodging traffic and talking on the phone.
The act of savouring intensifies the pleasure we extract from simple things and delivers greater satisfaction from them. One study found that spending a little time savouring the anticipation before eating chocolate led participants to eat less chocolate overall.
And attention seems to be key to the link between pleasurable feelings and well-being.”
Creating a Migraine-friendly life is just that, slowing down, paying attention to the details whilst savouring all aspects of our lives so that we are healthy. Taking the time to consider everything that goes into and on our bodies so that they can work the way they were suppose to and not be a source of pain.
How did we get to a place where health has become a hedonistic pleasure?
Enjoy my friends.
As always, whenever making lifestyle changes be sure and consult your healthcare team. Under no circumstances should you stop or start taking medication or supplements without their consent.