I’m always fascinated with what each of us puts up with when other people don’t because we all make different decisions which lead to our different lives. One decision that I have always made is not to suffer with pain and today I realised that you might be interested in how I do that. So here goes….
Just a quick note before I get going, this will hopefully be a synopsis firstly because you’re busy and because I waffle so I’ll try to be short and sharp but secondly because there are thousands of little things that I have learnt over the years that I now take for granted which each stop me feeling pain at any particular time.
So the purpose here is to find out if this is what you guys want to hear about and if so, learn what you want to know.
That said let’s crack on…
The first reason I don’t suffer with pain is that I choose not to. Yes, I know that sounds trite and obvious but how many times have you said to yourself something like
- headaches (or pick the pain you’re suffering from) are part of life,
- it’s just my genes,
- my mother/father/grandparent/(insert random relation to prove point) suffered with them
- I’m old, young, tall, short (insert excuse) so it’s expected
Of course we all convince ourselves that our pain is normal and we should just power through and not make a fuss but make a cup of tea instead. My word that sounds British 🙂 but most of us do it.
So the first step I made was to decide I was not going to accept that every pain I feel should be suffered through. That decision has proven to be one of the best of my life because it is why I now know so much about how to relieve my own pain.
Find the reason
Often we might be too embarrassed or shy to talk about what ails us but most of us in truth know next to nothing about how our bodies work. We trust other people to take care of our bodies while we worry about other things but you can’t solve problems in things that you don’t understand. So I have made it my mission to understand my body by
- listening to it,
- and learning what it needs at any given time.
Yesterday is a perfect example because I was in quite a bit of pain because I was dehydrated from the day before but didn’t fix it then. Pain caused by dehydration isn’t generally felt at the time instead it is usually felt much later, often 24 hours later so it’s not generally obvious that what you did yesterday is causing the pain you feel today.
I’m going to be vague about the pain because it’s about going to the toilet. If you want to know the fix then read dealing with stomach pains from dehydration otherwise I’ll just tell you that I was really glad that I knew exactly what to do. I quickly minimised the worst effects and then did a few simple things that sorted everything out.
I have another set of fixes if I feel a headache coming on, or an injury. That’s why I don’t suffer with pain, I’ve just built up my skills in fixing problems that occur, nothing more than that.
The point is simply that our bodies are insanely complex so, to avoid pain it is essential to spend a little time now and then learning how we work. I promise you that 5 minutes here and there spent understanding yourself pays dividends for the rest of your life.
Find good teachers
Even now, after researching the body for 25 years I find daily new insights that amaze me. I realised that most people have no idea how many great health resources and teachers there are out there so I am going to start sharing my list of the best health resources so you can learn who these people are and why they are so great.
You see, pain comes from all sources and in so many guises that there really isn’t one step. It’s all about problem solving and realising that every one can minimise or even prevent their own pain.
Whether the pain is solely in your mind as some pain can be (no joke, a fix for one type of pain is looking in a mirror, this is a genuine treatment and taught me so much about what pain really is), or has a physical cause there is always something you can do.
Just because you can’t see the answer right now don’t accept that the answer can’t be found but do realise that health care is still about finding the right answer for you which is so much about finding the right person.
Go solve your pain problems
Ok, I know I haven’t given you enough to fix your pain directly but that wasn’t the point. I’m a problem solver and that’s how I solve all my pains. I want you to realise that this is all I needed, 3 simple things
- The belief that my pain could be fixed
- The skills to find the reason behind the pain
- The support from teachers to understand how to fix it
Of course there’s much more but it starts with these three things. I wanted you to realise that this blog is about the search for a life without pain and that my focus on play comes directly from the realisation that play is a time in your life where pain is absent.
Sure, play often leads to pain in some way because you bruise your knee or, as an adult you get a hangover but play is recognised by both scientists and health professionals and all cultures as being one of the best ways to combat pain in all it’s forms. Often because your body has the natural ability to overcome and even block out pain.
I learnt from an eminent pain scientist last week something that I have heard before but still couldn’t believe.
Pain itself becomes more intense if you pay attention to it.
No word of a lie, study psychology enough and you will find that the nervous system can be trained like any other part of your body and that pain is just a signal triggering the pain center of your brain.
Think of it this way, have you ever noticed that when you do things that you love, that really distract you and consume you, your general aches and pains become less noticeable, even vanish (think Andy Murray when he’s winning)? Well, next time you feel pain see if you can use something that normally makes you smile to get you through it. You still need to fix the pain but knowing how to dull it is always useful. So listen to music, talk to a friend, distract yourself somehow and see how you have more power over pain than you think.
That’s the end of my brief introduction into my approach to reducing the pain I feel. If you want to know more about why I use play to reduce pain and increase my happiness just get in touch. I really enjoy sharing what I know and helping others so send me a mail, follow the links on this site to find me on twitter or facebook or sign up for my newsletter below.
I want to leave you with this:
It’s normally easier than you think and I just wanted you to realise that you don’t need to suffer, none of us do.
Have a great day.