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Sensory Hedonism


Techniques Happiness > Sensory Hedonism

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Pay attention to the information from your senses. Look for the beauty in a flower, a painting and anything you see. Focus on the subtle tastes and aromas of food. Feel the marvellous texture of stone and skin. Immerse yourself in the sounds of nature and of the great classics.

In this way, enjoy the pleasures of life. Ride on roller-coasters and go bungee-jumping. Make the most of each moment of your sexual encounters. A key trick is to do different things. More of the same gets boring. Something new or something you have not done for a while can be more fun.

Savor each moment. Take mental snapshots and relive these again. Learn to meditate and live each moment as it is forever. Be constantly attentive and mindful.


We experience the world through our senses and there are direct connections between inputs and sensations of pleasure, from childhood smells to adult sexual gratification. Sensory pleasure can also be derived from thinking about information received via the senses, such as when you meditate on a the beauty of a flower.

Stimulation may also be gained by legal and illegal chemical means, including tobacco, alcohol and narcotics. Such methods have clear risks, of course, and addiction does not lead to happiness.

The term 'hedonism' is often connected with excess, though excessive indulgence is not particularly connected with pleasure. Over-indulgence happens when people chase fading pleasure, or work on the principle that consuming more will intensify or lengthen the pleasure. In fact many pleasures do not work like this. There may be a period of 'high' but this never lasts, and seeking greater stimulation only has a transitory effect.

Effective sensory hedonism works best when it is done in moderation, spreading out the intense moments of enjoyment over time, rather than chasing a permanent or enduring high. The first bite of chocolate is always the best. After a lot, chocolate is just calories.

See also

Sensing the world around us

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