Everybody has a different way in alternating their stress and boredom. Some days you feel like you’re not going to do any work at all and you’ll go to a spa to have a lovely massage, have a good meal, a drink of wine and totally chill out by yourself. You feel the need to get away from your routines.
Self indulgence is often referred to someone who is being greedy, or is just generally selfish, and it is often seen as a bad thing. Some would say a self-indulgent person think about themselves a lot; they over eat, they care only about themselves, they take too much of a good thing, such as loads of cream cakes. But sometimes self indulgence can be a good thing. Take for example a person worn out from weeks and weeks of hard work at their company during the day, and at night when they go home from work, are building a new house for themselves and family. After all this hard slog as you can imagine, you’d be both very mentally and physically tired out. You’ll need to find an alternate routine to boost up your positive energy. How? It probably depends on your habits, character and lifestyle. In this article, we take quintessence from the seven deadliest sins to wrap it all up as one.
REALITY BITES / Gluttony
Sometimes food is the answer to your stress; chocolate, cupcakes, red velvet, brownies, even coffee, and wine and other kinds of alcoholic drinks can make you feel better. Just like favourite pair of shoes, everyone must have a favourite food. Besides the fact that some of them taste so heavenly good and can be found in literally every corner of the city, stuff like liquors usually help you forget about self-control; which is such a way to run from all the responsibilities for a while.
Sitting on top of my list is ice cream. Who doesn’t love this creamy, cold thing that melts delicately on your tongue? Once when I was younger, my dad brought home an ice cream making machine just so I could stop asking him to buy me bowls of Häagen-Dazs every week. On the second top would be chocolate. But fortunately enough, it is scientifically proven that dark chocolate reduces stress. In appropriate quantities, it has been found to increase serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain which will increase your mood.
In pop culture gluttony is defined as an inordinate desire to consume more than one requires. One of Hollywood rock stars who is known to have gluttony was Elvis Presley. Elvis was a great singer and was such a legend that even today some people claim that he’s still alive. He was so fond of food that he got the Peanut Butter Jelly popularised under his name, the Elvis Sandwich. Here’s the thing, an average human being must consume about 1,500 to 1,800 calories per day to keep alive, even if they just lie in bed and do no exercise. With Elvis, you can forget about your average number of calories per day. Before he died, Elvis was eating about 100,000 calories per day. That’s more than enough to keep an average elephant alive, or enough to keep you alive for nearly 60 days.
VANITY FADES / Pride
Perhaps going to the gym or the salon is one of your indulgences? It makes you feel decent, and therefore good and accepted. As pride is often linked to success and is achieved through the receipt of social approval and the admiration of others, it could be shown in the form of plastic surgery in modern days – or having an athletic/proportional body. Someone works hard in order to achieve the look that they think suits the society. They would then get rewarded with positive feedback and when they see faces brimming with confidence over their accomplishments, they feel pride and understand that they stand well in comparison to others.
Pride is the excessive belief in one’s own abilities, that interferes with the individual’s recognition of grace. It has been called the ‘sin’ from which all others arise. It’s the end of 2016, and pride is considered to be a positive emotion and it’s observed in human beings throughout the world. It is fostered through positive approval received from others and is associated with success and satisfaction. Feelings of pride serve to enhance an individual’s self-concept. When pride is at stake, individuals are motivated to work longer and harder to achieve success. Let’s take Napoleon for example, he was the best emperor in France who seized political power in France in a 1799 coup d’état. He fought wars with his strategies brilliantly and won most of them. Due to his over confidence and pride, he lost in 1815 to British and was forced to abdicate.
LEISURE PLEASURE / Sloth
The word ‘sloth’ is a translation of the Latin term ‘acedia’, which means ‘without care’. It finds expression in laziness, idleness and indolence. We would define them by the activity of going to the spa, vacation or maybe even as simple as partying – in the mid-week, especially. We take pleasure in having massage because our body is physically tired from sitting nine hours a day, we go on vacations cause we need to get our mind off of work, and we go partying because perhaps we could get the first two aforementioned things in an instant. Whatever the reason is, this activity takes us away from our main responsibilities that would lead to bad things.
You know Sloths, the animal which the internet is super obsessed about, spend most of their lives hanging upside-down from tree branches. They eat, sleep, mate and give birth upside-down in the trees. They sleep about 15 to 18 hours each day, hanging upside down and this has officially made them the symbol of laziness and leisure. Something you probably didn’t know is Hitler, from his days as a struggling art student in Austria to the pinnacle of the Third Reich’s power, he was an accomplished laggard. Ian Kershaw, one of his biographers describes how the indolent Fuehrer, having stayed up late the night before watching movies like Gone with the Wind or listening to music, would often not emerge from bed until after midday, just in time for a late lunch and a few meetings with advisors. And he was a leader after all… we’ve stopped wondering.
SATISFACTION BLISS / Lust
On a New York sidewalk, Marilyn Monroe stands with her legs astride a grating while the breeze generated by a subway train blows her accordion-pleated white dress up above her panties and around her ears. “Isn’t it delicious?” she cries, as the breeze billows around her thighs. That moment, perhaps the most vivid memory in the whole of Hollywood history, inflamed the libido of men everywhere, establishing Monroe as the world’s number one sex symbol and as the most desirable woman on the planet.
But therein lies a great irony for Marilyn Monroe was not the man-loving siren her image suggested. Although she married and divorced three times, she was — though few people are aware of the fact — a lesbian by inclination. She admitted to sexual encounters with actresses Joan Crawford, Barbara Stanwyck, Marlene Dietrich and Elizabeth Taylor, as well as with both her acting coaches, Natasha Lytess and Paula Strasberg.
Lust is abbreviated with sexual desires. Some people have this on top of their stress-reducer list. A physical need, that’s what it is for us. Apparently, as you might have known, there are clear reasons why sex is good for your health. First of all it reduces chronic pains; the release of endorphins, corticosteroids, and other natural painkillers will cause you less pain from headaches and sore muscles during sex. It gives your heart a workout, lowers the risk of breast cancer, revs your immune system and lowers stress. So now you know it’s not only apples that keep the doctor away, likewise for sexual intercourse.
ADRENALINE DOPAMINE / Anger
Einstein once said that the definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. But sometimes it isn’t stupidity that causes this behaviour, but something far more insidious and painful: addiction. Adrenaline is a form of addiction; it is a natural hormone that is produced by the body and secreted throughout the body when you undergo some type of extreme experience and an adrenaline rush is an extremely intense feeling that will cause some people to be addicted. To explain it simply, when you are attacked by a dog or you get into a fist fight, you will notice an energetic feeling that gives you the power and strength to either escape or to attack. Because of this, an adrenaline rush can be intense.
If alternating your stress by going to the gym, spa or party is too boring for you and you would rather go out for a round of bungee jump in Bali instead or paraglide in Turkey, or hike the world’s most dangerous trail on Mount Huashan, China, or maybe even have dinner in the sky at a Belgium’s restaurant, perhaps you know the feeling all too well. Your heart is racing, your palms are sweaty and you are so freakin’ excited. No, you aren’t about to put on that graduation cap, get married, or any of the other life-changing events that can come your way. That high is just a typical feeling in the world of adrenaline junkies. The thrill-seekers are often addicted to the rush of excitement, and we can’t really blame them. Adrenaline junkies just love to feel this feeling, that’s why they do extreme sports as their stress relief. Buckle up; you’re in for a wild ride.
SHOPANOVA EXPLOSION / Envy
How many of you have shopping on top of your priorities? In the world of fashion, it is such a common thing that we spend our leisure hunting for fancy stuff to decorate ourselves with. What’s up in the Chanel store? What did Louis Vuitton do to their latest collections? These sorts of questions might come to mind and therefore urge you to move your ass and shop. Or when you see your one of your friends has something Riccardo Tisci just made for Givenchy, and the other one has a new Prada or Dior bag, you suddenly feel outdated and so there comes a need to buy these products. You love shopping, buying these things makes you feel good and helps you with your looks, and doing this makes you feel a whole lot relieved.
Envy is the desire for others’ traits, status, abilities, or situation. We know that shopaholics don’t shop out of envious trait; they shop because it is simply their gateway from reality. But since we’re talking about sins and leisure at the same time, I’m gonna explain a bit about the ‘envy’ trait only because it is normally and acceptably human. Envy is a dominant emotion in modern society. We’re told, from many sources, that anyone can achieve anything. We are now in a system where anyone can rise to any position they please. It’s a beautiful idea, and along with it is a kind of spirit of equality. We’re all basically equal; there are no strictly defined kind of hierarchies. And there is where the door opens to welcome envy.
There is a fine line between self confidence with a sense of accomplishment, and thinking you are better than everyone else around you because of that. But it’s not all that bad. Pride, surely, is what often leads us to behave. We will not stoop to the level of those who are willing to compromise with their morals. You might notice that good people are often proud ones, who hold their heads high and make sure that they do the right thing even if others stray from the narrow path.
FINDER’S KEEPERS / Greed
As items lovers, it would give us pleasure to own the rare ones, and moreover when they only produce a small amount of something in the world. Greed for money, greed for power and greed for material possessions, whatever it is, you just need more. We put this sin along with collector’s behaviour. As a kid, my mom used to buy me Barbie dolls, so I had dozens of them by the time I reached the 6th grade. As we grow older, most often besides art, they are shoes, bags and watches that people collect from the brands that they love or unique models they are attracted to. Owning an item doesn’t stop them from buying more.
A quick clarification, there is nothing wrong with wanting things. Money and power are great things to have because of how much you can do with it. The problem occurs when you value obtaining them more than anything else, and they are not something you intend on sharing. It is greed that big companies have and greatly risk falling into – valuing profit more than the quality of their product or welfare of their customers and clients. Banks are especially guilty of this, being one of the key players in the US economic crashing. Politicians are guilty of this, working to claim as much ground for their representative party when it may not be what the country needs.
At the end of the day, self-indulgent activities – no matter how simple – can really reduce our daily stress and pressure. After wrapping up all these indulgences with you and comparing them with the deadliest sins, we are expressing how much these things are such needs for people in the modern society. Gastronomy, luxury spa, sports, going on vacations and shopping are all a form of life pleasure. And by pleasure, we mean a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment. But remember, pleasure comes only as a result of effort. So, how do you alternate your stress for pleasure?