Have you ever went a while without listening to music…and then when you finally did, it was absolutely amazing?
Lately I have really been digging the abstemious lifestyle. I’ve found that when I go without the routine pleasures of a certain activity, I end up enjoying it much more when I do decide to indulge.
You can pretty much apply this mentality to anything.
Let’s say, for example, that you love to eat pizza. So you end up eating pizza three or four nights a week.
I’m willing to bet that if you only ate pizza once every other week that you would end up gaining more overall pleasure from eating pizza in any given month.
Something happens in the brain that makes you adjust to regularity.
Everything we experience ultimately comes down to a chemical reaction in our brains. Whenever you experience something pleasurable, an enormous amount of dopamine is released.
However, there is a limit to how much dopamine you can release if you’re constantly depleting it.
We live in a dopamine-induced society. It’s pretty much easy to get your hands on a wide variety of substances that will release dopamine and make you feel good.
Whether it’s sugar, coffee, alcohol, pornography, or even just movies and television…you don’t have to go far to get your next fix of pleasure.
But when you allow your body to store up its dopamine without immediately expending it, you end up getting a pleasurable high that’s way more intense.
“I don’t do drugs. I never do drugs…never….so that when I do, they’re way more fun.” -Louis CK
From what I’ve been experiencing, if I go just five days without indulging in something, then on the sixth day it’s a mind-blowing experience.
But I’ve also noticed that it helps to have a somewhat irregular schedule. This, of course, is much harder because it requires a far greater level of discipline.
The way to build that level of discipline is to see for yourself how much better it is when you abstain before indulging. Once your brain makes that connection, you’ll automatically set up reward-motivated behavior. At this point you will actually look forward to abstaining primarily because the reward at the end of the road will be so immense.
But in the meantime, setting yourself on a schedule is the way to go.
For example, I gave up sex and masturbation during the week. And now when I have sex with my wife it’s way more intense. This combined with practicing multi-orgasms has made making love an absolutely incredible, all-body experience.
This level of pleasure is through the roof…and it would simply not be possible if I were indulging all throughout the week.
Another thing I love doing from time to time is packing my body full of fried food. So I eat pretty healthy for like two or three weeks and then when I have a huge craving, I deliberately choose to stuff myself with fried food.
I don’t even really consider it “eating.” To me, it’s more like doing drugs. It’s just amazing. And because I’m choosing to do it deliberately, there’s absolutely no guilt associated with the experience. And I believe that I gain 10x as much pleasure from doing it than if I did that every day. Totally worth it.
So I recommend making a list of all the pleasure-inducing activities you love to do and then assessing how frequently you do them. Then, cut back the frequency by at least 5x. So if you drink alcohol five times a week, then cut it back to one time each week.
Make it a routine. Give yourself something to look forward to.
No matter what it is that you love to do, if you do it less frequently, then you’ll have a much better time doing it more intensely. It will be more rewarding, more fulfilling, and it will feel much more wholesome and balanced.
Try it out.