The Pain-Pleasure Paradox: How it impacts your body, brain, & mind

Humans are hedonistic by nature - we seek pleasure, avoid pain. We seek that which we fear losing and avoid that which we fear gaining. 

It’s in our biology, our DNA, our neurology, and physiology. As much as we have the capacity to be evolved, conscious, balanced beings - if you’re a human on the planet and have a reptilian + mammalian brain, you will have moments of pleasure and pain that stem from primitive instincts. 

The Problem

Problems in this paradox arise when we become too infatuated and addicted to one side without recognition of the other. Think about it - one side cannot exist without the other. This recognition of both sides is what offers us our “wholeness.” Instead of acting like balanced creatures, our animal brains kick in when we feel threatened physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

It shows up as language, behavior, thoughts, and posturing. In this state we are unable to see both sides in a balanced, coherent fashion. We’re polarized and in that moment, the polarization served for our animal instincts to simply survive. 

The Solution

When such polarization shows up, the solution is NOT to aggressively swing the other way to pleasure, over-consumption, gluttony, pain avoidance, and hedonism. 

This only polarizes our nervous system more. In this state we create habits, behaviors, relationships, cultural patterns, personal and professional systems that are an outward expression of our inner reality. 

Look around you for a moment…and just witness the systems our brains have created. On the outside it seems “imbalanced” at times (depending on your perspective). But really it’s all balanced within the inner and outer world and among the polarities we have yet to reconcile within ourselves. 

When we cannot be with what’s inside, we project it outward onto people, places, and professions. 

Now ask yourself this…

If deep inside you believe yourself to be a self-healing, self-regulating, self-optimizing, and sovereign being…are you participating in systems, relationships, and communities that allow you to express all parts of you in a completely, autonomous way?

Because at times you may feel anger, at times you may feel joy.

At times you may feel grief, at times you may feel gratitude.

Honor all the parts, all the places, all the feelings.

This ability to navigate with the polarities of life is where your inner power and freedom exists. When you can sense, feel, experience, name, honor, reconcile, and transform from the edges of these polarities, you begin to expand into greater physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance. 

Life experiences still happen yet they don’t derail you or put you into freeze mode as much. You can see and experience both and all sides with empathy and understanding while simultaneously honoring your truth and your sovereignty as a human being. 


Yes, it’s possible. The “downside” - it takes focus, commitment, and showing up to do this work. The “upside” - you access a level of increased capacity to adapt to the circumstances of life. 

We’ll be teaching more on these concepts, strategies, and applicable frameworks at our upcoming mental-emotional mastery, 1-day immersion. 

We’ve got spots left! If you feel the resonance in your body in this, trust that call to join us because the real truth is in you.

See you there. 

The Inspire Life Team 

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