Pain comes in many forms in our lives. It can be physical pain. It can be psychological pain. It can be emotional pain. It is something that we feel. It can only be measured by the person feeling it. It is real for the person experiencing it even when others can’t see it. We are taught that we will have pain in our life and we better get used to it because there is nothing that we can do about it. We learn to avoid painful situations in life. We can look forward to growing old and having pain as a constant companion as our body ages.
All of these things that we have learned about pain carry with it a cost. Pain prevents us from experiencing life to its fullest. Pain affects our quality of life for ourselves and our families. Preventing and treating pain is a multi-billion dollar industry.
Pain does not have to carry such a high cost in our lives. You can gain a new perspective with awareness of what pain is, what you can do about it, and what that brings back into your life.
So, what is pain?
Pain is an experience. It can be a message that something is not right. It can be good or bad.
- Physical pain causes – injury and healing
- Emotional pain causes – from loss, hurt feelings, or dashed expectations
- The pain/fear connection is basic to our survival – safety for our lives, avoiding danger and injury
Three aspects of the experience of pain
- Memory of pain experience – how much it hurt before
- Anticipation of pain experience – how much it will hurt and how long it lasts
- Current experience of pain – what it feels like right now
Understanding how we experience pain allows us to do something about it.
Were you taught take a pill or suffer with it? Chronic pain tells a story which perpetuates the story. How does one get out of the reoccurring story of chronic pain?
Be aware of the pain you are experiencing in the moment
What part of this is pain is memory – all my yesterdays?
What part of this pain is anticipation – for the rest of my life?
What part of this pain is happening right now?
The benefits to changing how you perceive pain you are experiencing include:
Reducing pain you are experiencing now
Freedom from fear of how much pain you are going to feel
Increasing confidence that you can control how you feel
Your thoughts and feelings toward pain are very powerful. Shifting how you look at pain when it comes into your life the next time you are experiencing pain, and there will be a next time. You can still take a pill or suffer. You can also remember the big MAC experience – Memory of pain experience, Anticipation of pain experience, Current experience of pain.
Don’t be afraid to take a look at pain when you are experiencing it. Rather than reacting to pain when you notice it and trying to avoid it, you can take a proactive approach to controlling it. You can live a pain free life – a life where pain does not control you. Live a life where you control pain.