The Power of Pleasure

The Power of Pleasure to Rewire & Regulate Our Nervous Systems


Let’s create a new paradigm of healing through the power of simple pleasure. Watch the video below with Dara del Rio to learn more about how we can rewire and regulate our nervous systems by directing our attention to what feels good in the here and now.


Hi. This is Dara. And today, I wanted to make a video about attention and the power we have to place our attention at any given moment. And so, let’s just start with a little activity. I have a cup of tea here with me, and I’m just sitting outside. You can kind of see where I’m sitting. And I’m wondering where you’re sitting, and I’m wondering what it feels like just to sit where you’re sitting. Not focusing on worries about the past or the future, but just being present with the feeling of sitting. Your sits bones beneath you, perhaps if you’re sitting in a chair where the chair meets your back. And what is it like to just feel supported? What happens to your mind when you allow yourself to bring your attention to where you’re seated and your environment?

pleasure nervous system regulation

For me, when I do this, my mind usually slows down because it brings me out of the past and out of the future, into the present moment. And not only do I become more present. I become more attuned to the subtle pleasures that the present moment affords me. And that’s what I want to talk about today: the power of pleasure. And so, when I say pleasure, I’m not talking about like a 10/10 orgasm, although maybe this could eventually become that, right? I’m just talking about what it’s like to take a sip of tea and enjoy it, what it’s like to even just be with this sensation in your body and have it feel good.

Learning to Feel Better By Feeling What’s Better, Now

And one of the places where I see the real power of pleasure come to fruition is when I’m working with a client, and let’s say they’re having anger about something come up. Or maybe a better example is anxiety. They’re having anxiety about something, and they just are talking about what’s causing them anxiety. They’re focusing on perhaps a pit in their stomach, or a knot, or butterflies in their chest that feels really uncomfortable, that they want to get out or expel or suppress or just not feel because it feels too much and too uncomfortable. And often, when we redirect our attention, even momentarily, to something in our environment or in our body in the moment that is feeling good, just that redirection

has a way of helping to unwind the anxiety.

And it’s not direct, right? It’s not fixing what the problem is. It’s not saying, “Okay, now I have the answer and I feel better.” It’s just saying, “Oh, now I feel better, and I feel better.” And that’s a real radical shift in paradigm because it takes away the middle man of needing to fix to feel better. And that’s often not the case, right? Because life throws us really big problems, and a lot of them don’t have easy resolutions. But we always have power to feel pleasure, even when we feel just wretched and powerless and hopeless to change. There’s always something in the present that feels good, or that feels at least a little bit better than whatever it is we’re focusing on, which usually feels bad or really bad.

Placing the Intent for Pleasure in Our Day-to-day Lives

So, I’d like to invite you to reflect on your own life. And I’m wondering if there’s an activity or something that comes to mind that you enjoy doing, that you feel a lot of pleasure from. And this, like I’m saying, is a real simple kind of pleasure. So, for me, this is bike riding. I really love bike riding, and I really love swimming. And when I’m in the water, I like to focus on how the water feels against my skin. And it just feels so good to be buoyant and weightless in the water.

pleasure nature nervous system

Right now, I’m feeling pleasure because there’s wind coming through, and it feels great. It’s not too cold, and it’s kind of tingly, and it just feels pleasant and nice. And I’m noticing that as I focus on that pleasantness of the wind, my belly softens and my mind clears a bit.

So, I’m wondering if there’s something you can think of in your own life that usually has this effect on you. Usually people’s hobbies bring them into a state of presentness, of flow, of attunement to the here and now. Maybe you play the guitar or another musical instrument. Or maybe you like to go jogging or take pottery classes.

Whatever it is, my invitation for you is to bring this sense of intention and purposefulness into whatever practice of pleasure that you already have. Even if it’s just driving your car, if you love driving your car and that makes you feel good, then that’s a pleasure practice. And that can be a really potent agent for global nervous system change and realignment.

So, I’d love to hear from you, if this video speaks to you, or perhaps brings a different level of awareness into a practice that you’ve already cultivated for yourself. You can reach out to us at or through our contact form, and we’d love to hear from you.

Learn more about somatic therapy here.


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