Pain is, for the most part, unavoidable but when would you want to know that we get to choose how we respond to it. When we conceptualize our pain, we mold how well we tolerate it. The more you’re able to navigate painful experiences, the more you live beyond your boundaries. By moving beyond your pain threshold, we uncover greater possibility.
Where does pain come from?
Pain is an electrical signal in our bodies telling us that something’s going wrong. Once you think of it that way, then you can decide, am I really doing harm to my body or am I not? What is this thing, pain? And it is, of course, really all just in our head and we get to choose how we respond to it, what we focus on.
Whatever Fires Together Wires Together
If a person focuses on the pain, then our brain, through neuro plasticity, starts forming these neuro networks. That pain will stay in your mind even after the physical ailment has gone. It’s been proven in multiple studies, that if a person felt the pain for enough time and focused on it then even after their entire pain is cured they continue to feel it. That is the phantom limb, the brain had wired it together, felt the pain and continues to make it real.
Why Not Me?
I have a couple of little sayings that get me through just about everything. One of them is that if I know somebody else can do it, anything, then why not me? Essentially, we are all born equal, we have equal abilities. So, if I know someone’s got extreme pain, but they manage it or they get through it, then I can too.
The Animal And The Spirit
Then there is this theory I have, that human beings are made up of essentially two parts. One part of us is the animal, mammals. Inside of that animal and mammal, we compete for scarce resources on earth. We are competing for a mate, we want to have sex, we want food and there is this element of scarcity going back hundreds of thousands of years. “I have to move quickly and get it because somebody else might and then I might go days without food, or I might even starve.” So, we have this animalistic part of us that is competitive.
Then we have the spirit part of us, something that makes humans a little bit different than other animals. We can take ourselves outside of our body and see ourselves objectively. We can imagine that anything we’re going through is for a higher purpose and that we are here for some reason. There’s this continual growth that is cognitive but not just brain cognitive, it’s part of the heart and the soul.
Pain is all in your head
The animal part of ourselves, our body, feels pain but the spirit part of ourselves can say, “it’s here to teach me a lesson.” I can turn the signals on or off. For example, certain Hindu Yogi’s, can put themselves into an unbelievable meditative trance and withstand lots of pain. They can get themselves close to death with their control over their animal part of their body by getting control of their brain. If they can do it and they learn the techniques, then why can’t any of us?
On the next #WWYWTK episode
We feature two brothers that talk about this exact thing – Pain management and how they withstood extreme pain in totally different ways. Subscribe here to get notifications and don’t miss a thing.