In 1998 I was on the way to the gym after work and was involved in a major car accident which left me unable to even peel a potato! I spent six months sitting on the sofa, feeling sorry for myself, eating bad food and watching trash TV. Then one day I woke up and decided that I was not going to accept the situation I was left in. In this blog post, we look at pain and the power of the mind.
When one experiences pain it is really difficult to focus on anything else. If you have ever been in a situation where you've had a papercut you know how you can’t feel anything else in that situation, right? But when you have an illness that results in regular pain, or you exercise and feel pain for the next few days as your body adjusts what is really going on? If you are in chronic pain (i.e. pain that lasts for more than six months) it could be that there are triggers which make it worse – anger, thinking your situation is worse than it really is, not having enough sleep, stress, a messy physical environment, being by yourself and even seeing others having a great time! The great thing is that there is something you can do.
There are a number of different types of pain. Some pain is physical, others psychological. I’m not saying it's not real, I’m saying that there are different solutions and medication is just one of them.
This was really brought home to me when I was out running listening to Erik Vance interviewed by Tim Ferriss Erik tests the power of what we tell our mind.
‘Boys are smarter than girls’ statistically incorrect yet a belief all over the world.
‘Children of divorced parents are more likely to get divorced when they marry. It runs in the family.’ Really? Is it a self-fulfilling prophecy or is it fact as suggested in this research . Is all of this to do with peer pressure or what you believe?
Our mind is more powerful than we can imagine and we don’t use it to help us in the really powerful ways that we could. An example is when I recently went volcano climbing in Bali. I really believed that my body would let me down before my mind would, but it was the other way around. And it always is. When you believe you can do something and you believe it from your mind and heart then you really can do it. Some people call this manifestation, others call it the power of self-belief, and some think this whole concept is rubbish.
It doesn't matter what camp you are in – just believe that this is true – you can use the power of your mind to be pain-free, to be wealthier and to be healthier. The question is are you game and are you ready to do this?
Coming back to pain - did you know that it is possible to manage pain with the use of the mind? I did exactly that and managed to recover from the injuries of my car accident. I still have pain every now and then but I know how to respond to it and I can run, skip (jump rope) and do HIIT training.
You can reduce the pain that you experience in any given situation. I am always amazed when I see women have no pain relief at all in childbirth because they are using hypnobirthing techniques! And this is what nicely brings me to my recommendations because hypno-birthing includes some awesome breathing techniques. You can use breathing to help you to overcome pain.
What worked for me were these three things –
However, if you are in pain I urge you to develop a three-step strategy to get out of it. This can work with physical and psychological pain. Although it won’t work for all types of pain, some do require medical intervention, and I urge you to consult with your medical practitioner before reducing or changing any medication, what I am suggesting here is to supplement, not replace. When it comes to psychological pain for the third step I would suggest that you say some positive statements like ‘I am pain-free’ ‘I will have an amazing day today’ or ‘I am in great health and feel wonderful.’ As hippie as it sounds this is where it starts, this is where my rehabilitation started, by playing tricks on my mind and using it properly. The body then followed….
I am still on a search to understand more about the mind-body relationship so if you have any resources please let me know, I always want to learn!