Pain: Do You Run from It or Embrace It?

Lynne Taetzsch Health Guide
  • The past week or two I’ve been moving into a better mood. I solved the “side-effects” problem of my new blood-pressure medication by switching back to my old medication which had no side effects. I bought a “Resperate” gadget which helps you through bio-feedback and behavioral modification to slow your breathing rate, which is calming and is supposed to help lower blood-pressure naturally. I was really impressed the first time I used it. It was so much easier than meditating, which I have tried many times without success.

    I also started reading GET OUT OF YOUR MIND AND INTO YOUR LIFE: THE NEW ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY by Steven C. Hayes. It is in a workbook format, and I am doing the exercises as shown in the book. The basic idea I gather at this point is that trying to avoid pain only brings us more pain, plus we end up avoiding really living our lives because we are trying so hard to avoid the pain.
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    I can’t tell yet whether this new way of dealing with physical and emotional pain will help, but I’m willing to give it a try. It reminds me of Adrian’s method for dealing with unpleasant physical sensations. When he dives into cold water, for example, he says “Come to me” and welcomes the cold to join him. He does the same for physical pain. This technique has helped him to continue to enjoy biking, cross-country skiing, and gym work-outs in spite of two bad shoulders, a bad back, and numerous other ailments.

    I, on the other hand, hate physical pain and will do anything to stop it. When Adrian gets a cold, he goes to the gym to sweat it out. When I get one, I go to bed and stay there until it’s gone. I totally pamper myself. But so far I’ve been lucky. I don’t have any bad joints that keep me from hiking or playing tennis. Physically, I can do what I want to without pain.

    It’s emotional pain that I suffer from: anxiety, depression, guilt and rumination. I’m better at dealing with them now than I used to be, but I still have a long way to go. I hope this book will help, and I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

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Published On: September 12, 2006