Becoming a shameless 'pleasure seeker' is a great way to be happier at home and share more quality time with the people who matter most to you.

Despite our best intentions, due to the hustle and bustle of life we may tend to get carried away and neglect the very people we are working for. In a bid to smooth your livelihood, you may end up creating distance with your family; distance that sometimes gets so wide it becomes hard to mend it later. And if you’d keenly analyse the situation, you would find out that it comes all because we deny ourselves pleasure. We don't let ourselves be happy at home.

Not only ourselves but we also deny our families the pleasurable moments they deserve with us.

You may decide that your relationships at home could be enhanced by focusing a little more on shared pleasurable activities. This is often described as ‘quality time’ with family. There are several ways to achieve this; ways to help you incorporate pleasure into your family life.

    • Make sure that you regularly schedule quality time to be with your partner, each and every day. A cup of tea or a glass of wine together? A shared bath or a walk in the evening after dinner? These simple, routine habits can so easily get lost in a busy day. But they are vital to keeping a relationship alive and fresh. Every day, we need to affirm our love for spending time with each other.
    • Then, once a week, deliberately set aside an evening together to simply relax. Go out to the movies, book a meal out or take a drive to a beach or special viewing spot. Your relationship is the priority. No phone calls, no emails, no unexpected guests. Your partner is the focus of your life and you are fully engaged in the moment.
    • Finally, plan for ‘the big one’ every month! Book a night away in another town. Buy tickets to a special show or arrange to catch up with old friends. Make it a special celebration of your relationship, where you spend a little time and money to indulge.

Quality time with children requires us to engage with them in their own world of play. Don’t suggest activities to them; just ask what they’re up to. Gradually get involved and explore life from their perspective. Take them on at their own level. Look for laughter, fun and smiles. The primary theme is to be together, not to achieve anything or to teach them, but to simply relax and enjoy each other’s company. These are the special times with parents that children always remember.

Pleasure seekers tend to easily enhance their experience of pleasure by adopting a more ‘here and now’ approach to their world. They express appreciation of what is around them and they use the present tense. They are positive and they notice the things that they enjoy.

A pleasure orientation invites you to use all your senses to good effect (‘Mmmm, that smells good.’ ‘Oh, that feels good.’ ‘Yes, that looks great!’ ‘Wow, that sounds fantastic!’) You can give yourself a natural ‘cognitive high’! We can all benefit from increasing the degree to which we are sensitive and open to the pleasure available in the world around us! In addition, try to use pleasurable emotional adjectives such as ‘That’s a funny idea.’ Or ‘This is a relaxing situation.’ Radiate pleasure and approval wherever and whenever you can. Swim in a world of compliments and affirming comments.

If you do give out a positive vibe, then you often find that it comes back too. Love is a two-way street! A pleasure orientation towards life invites us all to ‘feel the love’! Accept the way that life is, and enjoy it!

By Chris Skellett, author of "When happiness is not enough