I hear from many people that they are encouraged to not talk about the pain. And if that works for you, GREAT! If you’re still reading this, I’m guessing that you would benefit from a different approach. Sometimes it takes all your energy to just hold it together and pretend that everything is ok, and let me tell you, it’s ok not to be ok sometimes. Let’s talk about the pain, because often there’s also a psychological component that’s overlooked, that needs some attention and healing.
Having ongoing and intrusive pain can lead to additional stress, or depression, in itself. It’s hard to deal with all of it, and can sometimes feel like a negative cycle or spiral that we get stuck in. This is also because emotional pain can often manifest as physical pain in the body. It’s not uncommon to hear someone say that their lower back is hurting more because it’s been a stressful week. Not to say that there aren't real illnesses and physical ailments, I’m not saying that at all… but stress can be a huge factor in how we experience those physical symptoms, and for some, stress can even be the CAUSE of their physical pain.
When we worry about something, we are actually visualizing this awful thing happening. Visualization is so incredibly powerful, and when it’s used as a positive tool, like in a therapeutic guided imagery or meditation for stress reduction, it can help us to feel more calm, grounded, and safe. And similarly, when we imagine awful, scary, or stressful images, we are putting our bodies in that state instead. Brain scans have shown that the brain can't tell the difference between what is real and what we imagine.
Read that again… the brain cannot tell the difference between what is real and what we imagine. Let’s learn to use this to our advantage!
Of course it’s important to be under the care of a medical doctor to manage the physical component, and also if you suspect a psychological component, feel free to reach out to learn more about this, and how we can work together to find relief.