Wisdom of the body expresses itself in two ways. Disagreeable sensation, such as lack of energy, numbness, or discomfort is a NO. Enjoyable sensation, such as aliveness, relaxation or pleasure is a YES.
As a species, we are better at responding to NOs than YESs. Pain gets our attention much faster than pleasure - and most of us have more or less reliable ways of dealing with it. Pleasure, on the other hand, often remains an untended, under-nourished, under-appreciated stepchild, only paid attention to when she is dressed in a glittering ball gown in the middle of a dance floor.
If we only pay attention to the extravagant experiences of pleasure (a gourmet meal, a tropical vacation, or a mind-blowing night with a new lover), the body can get discouraged. If it has no chance of attracting your attention with small-scale pleasures (little YESs), it has to say more NOs. If we consistently ignore the breadcrumbs of pleasurable sensation (running your hand through your child’s silky hair, friendly smile from a coworker, soft cradling of a comfortable shoe) and only follow the trail of discomfort, the body is likely to create more discomfort. Like most mammals, the body would rather have negative attention than none at all.
I am not suggesting that we ignore the signals of pain or danger. By all means, adjust the chair and take yourself to a chiropractor if you have a backache. Wouldn’t it make sense though to pay at least as much attention when your back is feeling better? Wouldn’t you want the brain to understand the signal of “I want more of this”, not just the signal of “less of this, please”?
How do we then condition the mind to be more pleasure-friendly? These are a few ideas informed by positive neuroplasticity, mindfulness and somatics.