Everyday I get clients asking me “Why does this keep happening to me?” in regards to their chronic or reoccurring pain. What I some times tell them might surprise you; I say “It’s all in your head!” Ok maybe I’m no that blunt, but the mind body connection cannot be ignored.
When we have stressors in our life, each of us deal with that stress in different ways. Some cry, some scream, some get angry and others get sad, but most of us internalize that stress and manifest it into our bodies. This is when pain becomes emotional.
Imagine trapping an angry tiger in a small padded cage that has a little glimmer of light beaming through a tiny hole. He’s going to thrash around tearing at the wall where that hole is until he makes a big enough opening to get out. The tiger is our emotions and the hole is the weakest point in our body. This point can be a past injury or somewhere you associate trauma that has happened at one point in your life.
Stress and anxiety tear at our insides and will attack the weakest point at the most inopportune times. These pains can range from severe to annoying, but no matter what you do they might go away for a little, but always come back. This is happening because your body is learning a negative coping behavior. When stress “X” occurs pain “Y” will
manifest. Because the pain is physical we rarely see the correlation between the two.
So how do I stop this from happening?
Next time you get a pain that seems to keep coming back, look at your life 2-4 days prior to its manifestation. Did some kind of major stress happen? If yes, track those occurrences and see if you can find a correlation. Once you know what types of emotional stress triggers the pain, you can work to stop the cycle.
To stop the cycle, acknowledge the stress, stop, remove yourself from the situation, breathe and calm down. Many times just the act of acknowledging that something is happening will bring awareness to you and how you’re reacting. This awareness can stop the cycle. So next time someone says “It’s all in your head”, you can say “yes it is!” Then breathe 🙂
Now remember this is not the rule! There are many different pains and injuries that are not emotionally based. For example; if you get hit by a car, the broken arm is not a physical manifestation of your emotional stress. It is a manifestation of the car hitting your arm!
Genetics also play a role. Sometimes we are dealt a set of cards that we did not expect or plan on but have to find ways to still carry on. The key is, no matter what the situation, if you keep a positive outlook and keep fighting for what you want your chances for success in life or better health will almost always prevail. Keep fighting!