I am using today’s blog post to address and facilitate further ideation on the topic of injury/pain management.
Personally, I have had a long history with chronic pain/illness that manifests both physically and psychologically. In my experience, that which is chronic can become so debilitating primarily because what is causing the symptoms is multi-factorial/elusive and, consequently, a foreseeable end to the suffering does not exist. Lately, my left shoulder has been particularly problematic.
It is because of these factors that it is all too easy to start identifying with the injury/pain. In spite of wanting to be free from it, we get further and further away from conceptualizing ourselves and our experiences in lieu of it. The unfortunate truth: what we resist, persists. Exercising becomes less of being a release or joyous experience and more of an obstacle and/or reminder of the pain/injury.
SO…. WHAT DO WE DO? How do we rise above?
1. Lean on our coaches and our community to help us to be creative about how we can still move and “get after it” in pain-free ways.
2. Remind ourselves about what we still can do and practice being grateful of that reality.
3. Educate/re-educate ourselves on pain science. Science has proven that pain can actually be reduced when we have a better understanding of what role pain plays and how the brain process and modulates painful sensations.
4. Reframe how we think about the role that exercise is playing in our lives. For the time being, exercise may not be able to serve us the way it has previously but that does not mean it cannot take on a new purpose–one that is more fitting with what your mind/body can tolerate.
5. Practice feeling without judging, without labeling, and without attaching a story. It is the stories of what is and what will always be that keeps us in a state of suffering. Go from “I am ____” to “I feel _____” to “I am aware of feeling _____”