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How Your Brain Responds To Pampering

How Your Brain Responds To Pampering

Pampering is often seen as an indulgence. A treat, reserved for special occasions; the extra splurges we simply don’t have time for.  Or, perhaps we see pampering as something we do for others. The time and attention we give to make them feel as comfortable as possible, focusing on their needs over our own. But pampering is about more than being spoiled or spoiling others. It’s about taking time to ensure our bodies and minds are rested, rejuvenated, and reinvigorated.

Whenever we are too focused on our day-to-day routines, we’re probably depriving ourselves of some necessary self-care. We set rigid schedules, exercise, and push ourselves, even, or perhaps especially, when we don’t want to. And pampering rarely fits in our schedule. The truth is, a little bit of pampering is what we need. Self-care gives our mind, body, and soul the much-needed attention they deserve.

When we are happy and satisfied, dopamine is released in the body. This prompts us to perform our tasks more consistently. However, when our dopamine levels are low, we may not feel happy or be motivated to do anything. These low levels in our brain can be a sign of impending burnout and are important to pay attention to.

We can offset these fluctuations by maintaining uniformity in our daily lives; namely, exercise, eating healthy and following a schedule. But to give ourselves the extra boost we sometimes need, a little bit of pampering can go a long way.

How to pamper yourself?

The first step is to make time for self-care. We all have a list of things we’ll do later. The novel we’ll read when we have a free afternoon, or the movie we’ll see someday when we manage to stay awake past 9 pm. Even something like taking a bubble bath or relaxing in a sauna can be difficult to justify when we’re exhausted and running on empty. That’s why it’s important to make time, to schedule this “me time” into our actual schedules.

The foundation of self-care is allowing ourselves to do whatever we want without feeling guilty for doing it. We often feel as if we need to take care of others before we take care of ourselves. When we do make time for ourselves, we feel guilty, running through the list of what we could be doing with that time. It’s important to remember that if we are depleted, we cannot give anyone the time and attention they deserve, or complete tasks at the level we are capable. By allowing ourselves to relax, our body is able to release hormones like dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin, combating high levels of cortisol. This restores us, allowing us to feel recharged and refreshed, making us more productive and focused in all areas of our lives.

Even better, self-care doesn’t have to be time-consuming or cost a ton of money. Sure, spending a day at a fancy spa or going out to an expensive meal can be restorative. But self-care shouldn’t take away from our other goals, such as our finances. They also shouldn’t feel like a chore. Some easy ways to indulge in self-care can be things like:

  • Listen to music
  • Get a massage
  • Catch up with a friend
  • Order in
  • Sit in the park and observe the world
  • Exercise
  • Go for a walk
  • Meditate
  • Eat chocolate
  • Sleep in late

Proper self-care doesn’t mean we lose focus on our goals. In fact, when done right, the opposite is true. They are a great way to break the stress cycle and can help us remain determined and disciplined. By taking periodic breaks we are able to regain focus, moving towards our goals. So remember to schedule time for self-care and enjoy being pampered. We deserve it!

Free 3-Part Brain Training by Jim Kwik:

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