For many, body pain is a very real problem. Yet all pain is information. When there is a problem with your body, your body communicates this to your brain via nerve impulses. These impulses are “pain signals” that send the injury information to the brain to make you uncomfortable in an effort to force you to do something about it.
The fact is, many people feel overwhelmed by their body pain and feel unable to do something about it. In fact, pain is made much worse (or made chronic) by the way we think about it … and how often we think about it!
I would like to tell you about a method known as “reframing,” that is simple to do and will allow you to change the way you view and respond to pain. It is simply a form of communicating information. So normally you may say things to yourself like, “My joints hurts, my shoulders ache and they stop me from doing things I like to do. This all gets me down.”
By focusing on the problems, you are actually reaffirming a negative cycle. Let us now “reframe” the above negative thought into a positive one.
“Yes, my body hurts but it is telling me to be careful and not to injure it further. Okay, I should do the correct exercises to free my pain and be aware that I need to watch out for things that could add too much pressure at this point. Also it is good my body reminds me to look after my tender joints. So to thank my body I must keep up with my healthy life program.”
Rather than fight against the pain information (the message) you can use reframing instead to acknowledge the problem, and take affirmative steps to reduce and eliminate the pain. Then, while adopting a pain-relief program, you will be mindful to listen to the communication of information from your body to your brain, and acknowledge the relief as it comes … slow or fast.
Here are the three steps to reframing:
Step One is identifying the problem. Sounds easy, but often we react rather than reason. Take a moment to be with your pain and assess it so you can understand the why, when and how of it. Why is it happening (e.g., you have had a disc problem; you where sleeping in a new bed). When is it happening (e.g., while doing something that always sets it off). What is happening (e.g., what kind of pain is it?)? And, how is it happening (e.g., are making it worse? Is it fear-based pain where you are worried that it will get bad so you get in the mindset of being in pain?)?
Step Two is separating the intention from the learned behavior. In other words, you slow down to really talk to your subconscious mind about a better way to deal with the problem at hand. You might say, “Okay, I know I am having pain, but it is not an injury, I am not my pain, it just happened today because I have been sitting all day and not moving.” Thinking and acknowledging in this way keeps you focused on getting to step three.
Step Three is setting the positive way forward. You can even thank your body for the message of pain, as it focused you to work with a better intention of achieving your health and long-term life goals.
You can reframe in many ways, just look at the positive view of the situation and let your mind work for you!