Everyday we are all busy. Sometimes too busy to take notice of the messages our body is sending our mind. We have all had that time when we have had an ache or injured ourselves and whilst we acknowledged the pain we, well, we just kept going.
The thing is, pain is a message (or a sign, if that’s what you are into) and we need to take notice of it.
Physical pain can be acute or chronic, as can psychological pain.
Acute pain is the type where you roll your ankle whilst running to collect something you forgot – and if you are a first-aider – you apply the RICE theory – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation for a short while, depending on your patience level. This pain can typically be managed with simple analgesia ie. paracetamol and ibuprofen – after the initial inflammation that was caused by the injury has settled, the pain subsides and you resume your normal activities. Acute psychological pain might be experienced when people experience a situational crisis. The immediate pain is managed through their ability to be resilient, they learn, grow and move on.
Whereas, chronic pain is longer lasting. Just ask anyone who is waiting for a joint replacement (say a hip or knee) and they will tell you they have pain every day and they have worked out the actions that make their pain better or worse. The ‘edge’ might be taken of this pain by the analgesia previously mentioned, but it is always there – sending a message to the brain to be mindful of the area. Like chronic physical pain, chronic psychological pain has the capacity to affect every part of a person’s wellbeing. Again, there is a time of learning, but changes need to be made for long term management and growth.
Our mind and body work in such unison that it can sometimes be unclear where the physical pain ends and psychological pain starts.
Know that both acute and chronic physical and psychological pain has a purpose and is not to be ignored.
Trust that your mind-body connection is in play and be strong enough to use the opportunity to take action.