Why do activities that are meant to make me feel good not give me any bliss? — R Voice

Why do activities that are meant to make me feel good not give me any bliss?

Vivien Kretz
Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 241 ✭✭✭

Dear RVoicers, I wrote a blog post about self-care. It comes from the realisation that I often had issues to to enjoy self-care and finds the answer to my year-long wonder why I could never ‘relax’. 🧘🏼‍♂️😩

Read the piece here: https://thoughtsinatravelbagx.weebly.com/blog/why-does-what-is-supposed-to-make-me-feel-good-not-allowing-me-to-experience-any-bliss

I would love to open up a discussion about this topic here. ☺️

Have you ever felt like you could not enjoy an activity even though you were meant to enjoy it?

And has this changed over time?

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Comments

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

    Why @Vivien Kretz! You have posted a picture of Lisbon's aerial view, that instantly reminded me of Lisbon from La Casa De Papel(Money heist). How wonderful! I mulled, remembering how the character Lisbon herself was not enjoying her profession until she met Professor and he taught her what life is actually and how to live it, which is the essence (what I understood) of your beautifully penned blogpost❤️.

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

    I couldn't have loved your insightful thoughts more @Vivien Kretz! I discovered a very unique fact you pointed lividly here, that goes unnoticed actually. That people talk to themselves! So true and faintly acknowledged. I keep having more thoughts in my head and as when something beautiful turns up I note it down immediately on my phone, sit and meditate on it during the next few days and finally pen them down as part of journalling.

    Coming to the point, I HAVE done exactly what you have posted- tried relaxing and comforting my mind and body through several means (for almost a decade), until very recently, thanks to CoVID, I understood they weren't comforting at all and not one-bit soul satisfying. But I must say, that helped me narrow down to understanding what I thoroughly enjoyed and helped me revive in totality☺️. Talking to myself is one such healing and reviving process for me I discovered. In fact I acknowledged this discovery only after reading your blog😁 so thanks a ton to you and the universe for helping me "discover" that, later than never!

    I would go philosophically in answering why we do not enjoy what we were meant to enjoy. I do not know how much you might relate to it but I thought I should share it since philosophy of life and after-life is something that is very intriguing ending in close- to- my- heart conversations that goes on in my head quite often, everyday.

    1. Our soul is born with certain memories of the past life, imprints of thoughts and actions of the past life that comes to the forefront in the present life and makes you "you".
    2. Certain unfulfilled wishes and dreams of the past life make us enjoy only certain activities in this life and that is why relaxation and comfort is different for different people which is acceptable.
    3. Your internal happiness is connected to only what is soul satisfying, like you mentioned. This again means your tendencies towards and of contentment and happiness, is born from your past life's nature.

    Now, coming to your last query on whether the activity has improved with time- Yes, I did learn to enjoy good food, taking time to discern the ingredients, dissolve in the taste of it and appreciate/encourage good food genuinely through reviews. Previously eating food was just a chore to be done with, even if it was eating out with family or friends. I never gave it much thought. But now ONLY that has changed. Ive retained those activities that feel fulfilling and intend improving on them- writing, gardening, travelling, devouring philosophy through reading/ watching relevant videos and meditation. The rest are safely out of my mind and schedule.

    Thank you so much Vivien🤗, for, when you recollect and acknowledge what genuinely gives you happiness, the intention to improve on them takes a leap. Very self-assuring😍

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 241 ✭✭✭

    Omg yes! I love that character! Even though I must admit that my dear Nairobi (💔) will forever be my fave. I am happy to have found a fellow Casa de Paper fan in you @Gayatri Ramachandran ! And yes, that IS the essence. Actually finding out what is good for oneself other than just following what you are presented with.

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

    For the same reasons that you have mentioned that Lisbon IS my favourite in the entire series😍. She follows true love and does what and where her soul finds contentment, contrary to everyone's expectations (society here being the "everyone")

  • Isurika Sevwandi
    Isurika Sevwandi Member Posts: 112 ✭✭✭✭

    I enjoyed reading your blog post @Vivien Kretz and thanks for inviting to me look into it🤩 If it was not for your nomination, I would not visit the post with the upcoming paperwork and preparations for the back-to-back meetings. What really resonated with me is,

    "And there was always something I should have done instead of relaxing and enjoying myself"

    I always had this mindset back in the days and I am proud to say that I could finally defend it in 2022 as I promised myself and (@Andrea Hayward to be accountable for a self-care routine), so I am following it now. Whenever I get a chance to watch a YouTube video, TV, or any online post, It is not so easy to convince myself that this is going to be enjoyable, relaxing, soothing therefore it is "worthy" of watching this and then it becomes literally productive because after that relaxation you are definitely going to work pretty well, with intention and compassion. However, I've been struggling a lot to reach this notion of not doing anything/ doing something interesting but not mainstream PRODUCTIVE is also actually productive and nurturing.

    So, thank you so much for writing this blog post also with passes, which makes reading itself is also mind relaxing and inviting us to do a self-realization + introspection on speaking to ourselves and starting in deep conversation on what we really want in our life😊

  • Isurika Sevwandi
    Isurika Sevwandi Member Posts: 112 ✭✭✭✭

    Loved this detailed explanation of thought processes @Gayatri Ramachandran and reading it was felt like a dancing waterfall pouring water to my thirsty afternoon (it's literally my lunch hour). I love that you brought up food here, not because it is my lunchtime, but I am a sort of a person who enjoys every bit of food in the sense of its ingredients, flavors, warmth, and even the little ad on like spices, sauces, chilies, and peppers. I do not know actually whether it makes sense but I take too much time to have my lunch because I do not eat, but tend to enjoy the portion so that I've been bullied a lot by my university friends and even family members that I take/ waste too much time on food. However, for me, this brings me so much happiness, and isn't it good to be thankful for your food and enjoy it while we have time to do so???

    Would love to know your thoughts 😜 and eating at home is my preference because then I do not have to worry about table manners (yes we should do but when I enjoy my food, I do not care anything at all 😌), others staring at me, how to politely behave at waiters/ visitors, apps to reserve tables and traffic on the way to the restaurants but only the food on my plate 😋 It is like a meditation for me and I acknowledge everyone who dedicated blood, sweat, and tears to bring this food to me. I think this is an easy way of relaxing at your dining table. How about you?

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 241 ✭✭✭

    Thank you so much for your comment @Gayatri Ramachandran. I find it absolutely amazing that you reminisce on good things happening to you and that you revisit them. That is a skill you have acquired and that you're putting to use. Kudos!👏

    Yes, I agree, activities can really help you but it comes down to which ones. I am happy that you felt confident enough to re-organise your activity list rather than forcing yourself to like them. 📝

    Yes, how we talk to ourselves is CRUCIAL. We might not realise it, but the thoughst we have in our heads are always addressed to ourselves in a certain type of voice and the tone matters more than we could ever imagine. I always find this analogy very helpful that states that the way you talk to yourself, especially through negative self talk, you would never use to talk to a friend.

    I must admit that I barely think about the past life that we have lived and the afterlife and therefore, I find your ideas and findings on it very intriguing. I would've never thought about it that way and I find it very helpful to create a link to the person we might have been in the life before the life that we know. You really blew my mind with this one haha.

    The list of activities that you enjoy is very long now and I was very happy while reading it. I definitely agree, eating should not feel like a chore. It is made for enjoyment and I'm happy that you experience it like that now. ☺️

    "For, when you recollect and acknowledge what genuinely gives you happiness, the intention to improve on them takes a leap." Thank you for this quotable wisdom! I am putting that on my wall! 🌺

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 241 ✭✭✭

    Yes! She is such a rebel in a sense and also a very very smart rebel. I think the show does a great job concerning female energy, all of the female characters are absolutely gobstopping, very feisty and determined.

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 241 ✭✭✭

    I am very glad you took the time to read the blog post @Isurika Sevwandi , I appreciate it so much.

    You are so right about the "mainstream productive" notion. Oftentimes, we get stuck in what society tells us is productive and worthy of our time, no matter if this might be good for us or not. I personally really do not enjoy TED talks as much as people forced me to like them. That does not mean I'm falling behind, it just means that it's labelled as "productive" by society. For me, It might be more productive to watch a comfort show instead of a climate change critical exploration at times because it would recharge my soul.

    think at the end of the day, it really comes down to how we label different activities and I'm very thankful for the thought nudge that you have given me.

    I am very happy that you also enjoyed the layout of the blog- It is indeed made a certain way to not make your brain feel overwhelmed.

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 241 ✭✭✭

    Enjoying your food like that is a superpower @Isurika Sevwandi! Protect it at all costs! Food should be enjoyed for its different notes and ingredients. And it also should be appreciated for the work put into it. Such an amazing technique! 🥟

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

    Your take on enjoying food is simply adorable@Isurika Sevwandi!! WOW! I understand what you mean when you acknowledge the hard work that goes into its preparation- acknowledging and thanking our mothers in our hearts for that "love"ly meal❤️. Similarly, I know how it feels like to be ridiculed for having a meal slowly, coz I did that to my better half and child till I understood the true value of eating and enjoying the portion at our own pace. I really love those who enjoy good home-made food (Enjoy but eat it fast, rather gulp it down fast was my mantra, a faulty one though). Thanks to my own family I started learning the art of eating slow ☺️. Thank you Isurika for detailing the process so well and making me reflect upon it again. I genuinely needed that

  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 319 admin

    Before I share my own thoughts, I wanna say how much I loved reading this exchange between you @Vivien Kretz and @Gayatri Ramachandran and @Isurika Sevwandi This one has everything a Friday or weekend conversation among friends needs - food, drink, philosophy, self-reflection, advice, popular culture! I'm going to add to this conversation with my own mix of thoughts.

    Great writing, Vivien. I love how you're using this blog to bring out facets of your mind and I can see how much it is helping you in return (also by helping you purge, in a way). And I feel a bit jealous! I feel like you've kinda expressed in this post what I've been struggling to for a while now. For me, this stood out

    How you talk to yourself determines in every way how you tackle something and also deeply influences your ability to enjoy something. 

    When I was writing Love is a three-letter word...YOU, I realized that "self-talk" is another major aspect of self-love and something that tends to be easily ignored. This is also one of my weakest areas. Even though I read a lot of posts about positive self-talk, when it's time to practice, I struggle. And as for the main point you raised, self-care should not be forced. I can totally relate to that experiment - taking something up because it is supposed to make me feel better. Something that truly nourishes you will make you feel excited about it, will give you a sense of fulfilment even if you spend just a few minutes doing it. Just life food, self-care cannot be enjoyed until you experience it fully, cherishing every aspect of it. Just like I have to enjoy every morsel to savor the temperature, texture, flavor, and emotion of food, I have to make sure it is food that I want, that I need, that will nourish me. And self-care is no different - I need to be sure that the activity I am committing to is something I need, something that will nourish and sustain me. If not, it'll be self-care for the sake of it and a mere formality, and pretty shallow and a waste of time, effort, and expectations too. Something that has only just begun to work for me is questioning - I question EVERYTHING. Do I need to step back and focus inward now? What type of self-care do I need right now? Do I have to do something because it is recommended on all self-care blogs or because many people around me are doing it? (Most often, I hear myself saying "no" to this one.) So what is it that I really need at this moment - what will make me feel rejuvenated? What will constitute soul food for me at this point? When I find something that feels instinctively right, I go for it. And what I tell myself matters a lot here too. I can't lie to myself - that'd be like binge eating junk food and lying to myself that this is good for me when the truth is far from it. 😁 So self-care, self-talk, and food are quite similar in my opinion - you should get it ONLY when you need it, not for superficial gratification, you need the right kind of nourishment to keep you going, and quality matters a lot.

    And I'm fully with @Isurika Sevwandi who enjoys her food. I am one of the slowest eaters I have ever known - so when we meet, you and I might be the only ones eating while others are done. Glad I'll have company! Grin... @Gayatri Ramachandran I too think about what shapes us in our present day - is it only our choices (well, we don't make some of them but are still subject to consequences), is it something deeper like a past life connection we can't fathom in this life, or is it an unfolding of something far bigger than our limited intellectual or imaginative capacity? We should talk about this some time, or perhaps you could talk while I am still processing the food on my plate 😊 - "food for thought"...

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 241 ✭✭✭

    Thank you for joining the conversation @Jayashree Rajagopalan , we really have a little bit of everything here haha! 🍛💡💭In the end, that also kind of defines the versatile nature of self care activities. 😊

    I am very happy that you enjoyed my writing. The thoughts really come from my own personal struggles and yes, I agree, one could definitely call it a 'purge' as all of the blogs aim to have a resolution at the end.

    Thank you for bringing back the attention to that beautiful post of yours, I love that one!

    I absolutely struggle with self-care as well. It takes a lot of time to unlearn all those negative information affirmations that I have been confronted with when I was younger and then took on as realities for myself. These can influence self-care activities and therefore it is so important to remember that self-care activities are very individual and it also very much depends on the feeling that they give us. You illustrated that so beautifully through your words:

    Something that truly nourishes you will make you feel excited about it, will give you a sense of fulfilment even if you spend just a few minutes doing it.

    There is not 'the one way' to practice self-care and I think that is something we need to emphasise more. Not everything will make everyone feel good and finding out what makes you feel good at certain points and how you can take a step back for yourself is definitely a struggle.

    My therapist would say now that it's simply a lot of work and she's right: It is a lot of work. But it also is work that at the end of the day will be very rewarding. That thought keeps me going as I see the results of it every day. I still struggle so much though, I could feel for what you said. This brings me back to one of my favourite topics: that's self-care is so much more than face masks and fairy lights.

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

    So self-care, self-talk, and food are quite similar in my opinion - you should get it ONLY when you need it, not for superficial gratification, you need the right kind of nourishment to keep you going, and quality matters a lot- That is pure wisdom @Jayashree Rajagopalan. You put it forth so exquisitely!! And yes we will definitely talk about the philosophy of life in our conversations. I would love that😍

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 881 admin

    I loved reading your blog post @Vivien Kretz! Sorry I'm a little late to this thread.

    I especially related to this part of the blogpost - Feel good activities can only be a temporary solution if they do not corporate with reflection and analysis. 

    This is a very important topic, especially in today's world where social media insists on dictating which activities are fun and the kind of moments you need to create if you want to feel happy/fulfilled. I think we've had a similar conversation in the past where I mentioned that these things used to really bother me before. I'd feel like I wasn't doing it right if I wasn't doing something "fun" or "exciting" or "Instagram-worthy" on the weekend. The pressure was intense, as was judgement from those around me. Things changed for me when I realized I wasn't happy one evening I was out at a party. I could think of nothing better than being home watching a show or reading a book. It was then that I started REALLY thinking about what I wanted to do and how it would make me feel.

    I'm not saying that I don't enjoy going out - whether I'm going cycling, eating out, attending a party, or travelling with friends. But it was important for me to realize that this might not always be what I need. I feel like accepting that sometimes I might just need a do-nothing-day or a spend-time-lazing-around-day was very helpful. And I haven't looked back since. I go with my gut and politely decline plans that might not make me feel good or that I start dreading from the moment I've heard about them. Self-care activities shouldn't feel like a chore. 🙂

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 241 ✭✭✭

    Don’t apologise @Andrea Hayward ! I am also A little late with my reply as finals keep my hands full.

    I definitely agree that especially social media creates fear in which it is determined collectively (or it seems at least to be) what might be enriching in life and what isn’t. For me, I enjoy partying but I barely can do it, because it takes me too much energy. Even though I never drink, the next day I feel completely hung over and my body aches due to the shift in my sleep schedule. And therefore, I decided for myself to not do it as it is not good for my energy household. What I put in and what I receive or not in line with each other. But still, I fight the conceptions of others telling me that it might be fun even though for myself I know that I cannot enjoy it.

    I am so happy for you that you have that one key moment that turned things around and which stopped or cleared your guilt. I am still waiting for my moment to come and I honestly can’t wait.

    I think also that the fact that we label days of rest as ‘lazy’ and uninteresting is where the issue starts. Interesting activities are so individual and even though biking might be the greatest activity for one person, it might terribly annoy someone else.

    I feel like the universe really sent me your beautiful text, I feel a lot better and less alone now about the subject. 😊I definitely aspire to be where you are with your progress and it was so inspiring to read about that. Thank you. 🌸