6 lessons I’ve learned to Deal with pain…

I recently spent a week at the hospital with my daughter who was admitted. As a parent, it’s an incredibly painful experience. You feel helpless and hopeless. Pain is an emotion that every human will encounter. It could arise from various scenarios: health setbacks, relationship issues, loss, financial difficulties, or job loss, to name a few. Pain hurts, and there’s no denying it. Here are six practical steps I’ve learned to deal with pain:

1. Acknowledge, Don’t Ignore:
Acknowledge the pain; don’t sweep it under the carpet. Ignoring the pain will only cause it to bottle up and worsen. Labelling the emotion helps identify the feelings you’re experiencing, such as sadness, fear, or anger. This is the first step in dealing with pain.

2. Express and Emote:
Give yourself permission to emote. Expressing emotions is like digestion; if you need to cry, please do. It helps process the emotions and brings clarity. There’s often a tendency to appear strong and suppress emotions, but doing so can hinder emotional healing.

3. Accept the Change:
Pain is often a consequence of unwanted change. You didn’t choose the adversity, but it arrived uninvited, bringing significant change. In this situation, you have two choices: continue as if nothing’s changed and live in regret, or accept the new normal, face discomfort and disappointment, and move on. The latter helps deal with pain effectively.

4. Be Intentionally Grateful:
Choosing to be intentionally grateful is a powerful pain reliever. Find reasons to be grateful deliberately. In my recent experience, I’m grateful for the medical facility, the timely admission of my daughter to the hospital, and the return of lost airline baggage. Gratitude combats self-pity, which intensifies pain, while gratitude relieves it. Make a gratitude list and read it aloud.

5. Leverage Your Inner Circle:
Pain isn’t meant to be carried alone. Yet, in an attempt to appear brave, we often choose to go solo. Clarity, objectivity, and unbiased perspectives are crucial. Being willing to share your heart with trusted individuals is therapeutic during times of pain. You’re not seeking sympathy but empathetic listeners and truth-tellers. I’m grateful for a few friends who fit this category.

6. Vulnerability is Strength:
Stop pretending. Remove the superhero mask and reveal your struggle. What is revealed can be healed. Being open about your struggle builds trust ironically. Being open about your pain helps you heal. The goal isn’t perfection but vulnerability. Vulnerability aids in healing pain.

I’m not sure what pain you’re facing at the moment, but I wish for you a quick recovery. Responding well to pain not only assists in healing but also helps you grow stronger.

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