What to do About Stress & Pain: The Follow-Up

In my last post, The Most Common Cause of Pain, I explained how I have found mental stress to be the most common cause of pain in the body —

Now, let’s discuss what to do about it!

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A popular stress combatant is exercise. Exercising helps because it releases hormones that reduce stress and don’t make us feel as much pain. However, that is temporary.  It is like a bandaid or medication, it can help but the body is doing the real healing.  Exercising can actually also be detrimental.  You have to allow your body-mind to recover.  Constantly placing yourself in the same stressful situation will lead to worsening issues.  I’ve seen it.  I have worked with people who have manifested deep rooted issues from the past into gastrointestinal problems, disconnection to one side of their body, excessive weight loss, loss of muscle mass, loss of confidence with general moving such as walking, loss of balance, and so on.  Too often I see people just basking in the stresses of their life, justifying their choices and actions.  Take a lawyer for example.  This is a person who likely has a pretty fast paced stressful job. In addition to their daily grind at work, for our example we will say that this person also likes to exercise at a very intense level every single day. On top of that, this person has a pretty lively social life and goes out eating and drinking often, doesn’t sleep as often as he/she should and struggles to feel truly accepted in romantic relationships and relationships within his/her community. This equals stress on stress on stress on stress!  And, we all can either relate to at least some of these stressors or have plenty of our own that come to mind. Where is the recovery?  The recovery is where the magic happens.  That is when the universe takes over and the body adapts and evolves.

First, stop justifying, ignoring and denying.  Understand, recognize, admit, and become aware that you are causing your own pain.   Be ok with it, we all do it!  Next, take control of what you can and move on from it.  Start to attack the issues.  Figure out the root cause of your stress.  This may be a deeply suppressed issue, so seeking guidance is always extremely helpful.  Try to rid yourself from that stress.  You can take yourself out of situations, or you can change your mindset and approach to situations.  Both may be necessary, they usually are, but they are situation dependent.  You must find some kind of balance.  Some stress is good, it’s how we grow. However, you must also be able to come down from that stress to recover.

If you have physical pain, then start to address those issues too.  Work with someone with whom you trust  to guide you and with whom you can confide.  Be patient and consistent, as the process is ongoing and can seem long and daunting at times.  Learn how to be completely aware of your body.  Improve your relationship with your body.  Improve your relationship with your mind.

You are able to improve your relationship with your body and your mind, because you are neither your body nor your mind.  You are beyond the body and mind. 

DSC_1413The body-mind is simply the way you interact in this world we call reality.  Somehow our body-mind is performing and regulating an insane amount of systems and processes every single moment of our lives, literally.  The majority of the things our body-mind does are completely out of our control; however, we can have positive or negative influences on the body-mind.  For example, we do not tell our heart to pump or our brain to regulate our temperature.  It just happens.  What causes a child to grow and change constantly?  It just happens.  However, by eating healthily, being active, and being peaceful/happy we positively influence our cardiovascular and nervous systems to operate to the best of their ability.  The idea that we are limited by our DNA is not quite the case, as we have the ability to influence the expression of our genes.  Through repetition of input, we actually influence what our genes do.  If the input is negative and likely driven by the egoic mind, then the results will be negative.  Likewise, if the input is positive, then the results will be positive.  To do so, though, you must go beyond the body-mind. (See the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza.)

Your true nature is beyond the body-mind.  The sooner you can recognize this the less pain and stress will impact your life.  The less the past will have control over you now.

Personally, when I get pain I deal with it immediately.  Just the other day I awoke with extremely tight and painful right hip adductor muscles (groin area).  I had trouble lifting my leg to put on shorts and socks, and I had trouble standing on the leg.  I was walking with a limp.  It felt weak, painful, and vert stiff.  The symptoms were likely the result of a long day at an airport with cancelled and delayed flights, poor sleep due to travel, and stress I have been feeling about changes going on in my life.  Though the changes are good and exciting, many of them are challenging.  I felt pity for myself for about 30 seconds, then I cleared my mind and let go. I immediately started to work on it through body control and movement.  By the end of the day, the pain had completely subsided and the stiffness was minimal.  I know it will still take a few days or so to be back to feeling 100%, but the positivity I exuded allowed me to influence my body-mind and feel better in the now.

I am able to do this because of my knowledge and awareness of how the body works.  I am able to do this because of knowing that I can let go of the negative thoughts that enter my mind.  I am able to do this because I choose to know that positivity has a greater impact than negativity, and that it leads to a much more enjoyable life for myself and those with whom I interact.

Every single issue we have with our physical body has a mindful component.  Any mental issues we have will have an effect on our body.  Being aware of the interconnection of the body-mind, and the ability to recognize that you are more than your body-mind, will allow your body-mind to work as efficiently and effectively as possible.

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We do this through the practices of:

Joint mobility, being active, breathing, mindfulness, journaling, community, relationships, learning, meditation, nature, gratitude, kindness, and so on…

Body – Mind – Spirit – Beyond

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