Pleasure and pain are anchored in the same pathway. Being comfortable in your boredom is the key to maintaining a happy balance in your pursuit of pleasure.
The pleasure system is directly connected to the pain system that modulates psychological and emotional anguish. When we pursue something that brings us pleasure, we release dopamine in pursuit of that pleasure. Dopamine is not the pleasure neurotransmitter, but rather, its role is to increase the motivation to gain that pleasure.
When we are in pursuit of pleasure, dopamine levels are high and we generally feel good and motivated. But shortly after, you feel a bit of pain, this is to balance our the pleasure. It can be experienced as the desire to seek more of the pleasurable experience.
The issue comes in when we remain in constant pursuit of pleasure, because if we seek it out too often and too much, less dopamine is released and thus the cravings increase, and the more dopamine you need to satisfy your pursuit. This is how you become addicted to something.
Therefore it is important to understand that with major highs, can also come major lows, you know this when you return from holiday and you must go back to work. This is completely normal, and the way to set the “reward balance scale” again is to sit in that moment and understand that we may need to be “bored” for us to reach homeostasis, or a place of content rather than pursuit, again.
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