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The Pleasure Principle – What Gives You Pleasure Can Also Cause You Pain

Written by: Wendy Crabbe, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Have you ever thought about what gives you pleasure? I want to define the term pleasure principle taken from Google: A tendency for individual behavior to be directed toward immediate satisfaction of instinctual drives and an immediate relief from pain or discomfort.

Young woman holding and drinking iced coffee in cafe feeling happy.

Pleasure is defined by Google: A feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment.

During the pandemic, we needed immediate relief from the discomfort and fear of the unknown.

For many people, seeking pleasure from food, social media, TV or streaming, and alcoholic beverages became excessive during the pandemic. There were unwanted consequences such as weight gain, carb, sugar, or alcohol dependence, and an environment where everyone was on their devices.

It is normal to want immediate relief from pain and discomfort; it's our primal instinct. The problem is that our brains are conditioned towards immediate satisfaction even though we are not experiencing as much pain, fear, and discomfort.

What is the solution to overconsuming and breaking these habits?

It starts with awareness of the behavior and that it is coming from a primal need. There is no need for self-judgment or criticism.

Next is deciding if you want to make a change. What are you willing to do realistically?

The logical step is to choose one behavior you want to change.

An example is to decrease night-time snacking to 1 serving of your favorite chips three times a week.

One way to do this is to decide which days of the week you will snack, portion out one serving into a bowl, and put the chip bag back in the pantry. Expect to want more. Let the urge be there, sit with it and remind yourself of your goal. Repeat this practice as often as needed.

Even if you get up to get more chips, it will take more effort to get the chips, and you may decide it's not worth the trouble.

Once you decrease the number of chips you have and the frequency, with time, the cravings will be less.

It also helps to have a list of things that give you pleasure besides food, alcohol, or social media.

Connect with Wendy on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit her website for more information on obesity, gut health, mindset and hormones. Read more from Wendy!


Wendy Crabbe, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Wendy Crabbe, an oncology nurse practitioner and now expert in helping health professionals and women over 50 lose weight, struggled all her life with her weight. She wondered if she was so smart, why couldn’t she lose weight? The causes of obesity are about more than excess food intake and not enough movement. It’s also related to altered hormones and alterations in the gut microbiome. She was finally able to lose the weight with mindset coaching and adopting a science-based approach that she uses with her clients today. She is now on a mission to help hundreds and thousands of women over 50 get healthier; because when women get healthier, their families get healthier.



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