Stop the Pain – How To Pay Attention To Your Body

If you respect how your body feels when you’re in pain or sick, you’ll find that you spend much less time in pain or sick. I’m 31 years old and you might think what do you know about sickness or what do you know about pain. Most of the pain I’ve experienced in my body has been caused by me by not respecting the little pains that my body gets.

I would get lots of little pains like anxiety or fatigue. For most of my life, I didn’t respect those things. Whatever I decided to do was more important than how I was actually feeling. I used to get a lot of stress headaches in my neck and when I felt like they were coming on, they actually did come on. I would resist and I was mad and I would say I don’t deserve this. I would take pills like Advil or Tylenol to push the pain back. I would do things like drink to take away the pain. Then it would work for a while, but it would get worse.

Most of my life, when my body wasn’t feeling good, I wouldn’t respect it. I mistreated it even more. That took me to places where I felt more pain. When you don’t respect how you feel, you will do things like take pain medication to try to ignore it. I would play video games, drink, or use other drugs to try and ignore it and push back the pain. The fact is, if your body’s in pain it’s hurting for a reason. It’s trying to tell you something. Your body can’t speak to you, it can only communicate to you in how it feels.

Yesterday my body was feeling a little off. I was a little tired. I had a little neck ache throughout the day. I had trouble focusing in certain points throughout the day. I would’ve gotten mad and resisted. I would’ve taken a few Advil or I would’ve drank a lot to try and numb the pain. Then what would I have gotten?

Whatever message my body was sending me would’ve been ignored. Then if I had drank, I would’ve felt much worse. If I had taken Advil, I would’ve likely felt the same thing the next day. My pain would come back in Advil’s absence. Without the Advil I would feel again what I felt the day before. When you don’t respect and listen to your body, how can you expect anyone else to respect your body?

If you’re hurting and mistreating your body, why should anyone else do better? In fact, it’s a miracle that other people usually do better than we’re doing with ourselves. If you have a headache, then respecting that means you pay attention to it.

Yesterday when I was feeling off, I paid attention to it. I looked at it with curiosity and I didn’t rush to define it. I didn’t look on Google or Wikipedia and research the life-threatening problems I might have. What I did do is figure out what I can do to give my body some positive love and attention. I laid down in the bed. I took a two hour nap. I respected that my body was telling me that I need to slow down. Usually the pain you get in your body is related to slowing down. If you’re anxious, you’re trying to move too fast through what you’re doing. I’ve had a lot of because I’m trying to move through the present moment. If you’re getting a bit of a headache, it’s usually because you’re pushing your body too hard. Laying down will usually fix it. Getting a good night’s sleep will help you feel much better.

I also didn’t exercise like I normally do, instead I did some cleaning around the house. Since I wasn’t feeling well, I didn’t try and push the limit with more exercise. Usually when my body’s feeling bad, it wants more rest. It doesn’t want me to be completely lethargic, but it wants me to take more time resting. You don’t work on numbing the pain or pushing the pain away.

I looked at it and asked what’s going on. This is weird. This is not what I experience most days. I experienced the day gracefully. Then at night, after having a dinner party, I was exhausted. I went and laid down in bed for about an hour and I recalled a natural pain relief from a friend who has cancer. He says going in the ocean every day for an hour helps him out.

I’m grateful I have a pool in the backyard. I spent about thirty minutes just sitting and relaxing in the pool. Then I got out and took a hot shower and my body felt much better. Then I got 9 hours of sleep last night. These were a lot different things from what I did most of my life. Even a year and a half ago, I was sick for a couple of weeks. Do you know what I did? I drank almost every day through it. After a few drinks I didn’t feel sick anymore and if I still did, I had a few more. Then on the days I wasn’t drinking, I’d throw down Advil to knock the hangover down. If I didn’t have a hangover, I would use Advil to try and abate the pain of being sick so I could go on with my day. How many people do you know in your life that go through all their pain that way? Then they complain about having this pain, but they don’t do anything to make it better. Listen to it.

It’s trying to talk to you and your body doesn’t talk to you with words, it talks with pain and pleasure. If you’re getting pain, your body’s asking you to slow down. Pain is an sign to slow down and when your body gives you enough pain, it’s an sign for your spirit to leave the body. That’s why the end of life is often so painful. When it hurts enough, your body is telling your spirit to get out.

Until it’s that time, your body will give you pain when it needs rest or  when it needs to recover. Usually, pain comes on in proximity to whatever I’ve done. If I eat something that’s not good. If I ate something that’s a little too much, I get a little fatigue afterwards. I try not to eat meals that give me a bunch of fatigue afterwards. I try to eat smaller meals that leave me feeling energetic. I try and maximize the things I do that my body seems to like. I try to minimize the things I do that my body doesn’t like, like eating too much or drinking diet sodas. My body doesn’t seem to like that so I stopped doing it.

The more I get to know myself and my body, the more I’m able to live life free of pain. I am able to isolate the physical pain in my body versus my emotional reaction to it. From what I’ve seen most of the pain most of us endure in life is our emotional reaction to life. Our reaction about life. I was sick a couple of months ago. For a couple of months in my life I found as much joy in my life in being sick as a normal day. I didn’t feel the need to get healthy right away. I felt the need to take care of myself. and  enjoy my life. You can enjoy any state you’re in. In fact, many people that have been struck with the most pain are able to discover the joy of being alive.

The pain that’s usually the greatest in life is the emotional reaction, saying “No” to how life is. When you resist physical pain, you feel that emotional negative resistance. From my experience, that hurts worst than the actual pain does. You’ll take pills or drink or other negative behaviors to fight something that was small. I know I’ve done this a lot in my life.

I’d have a little neck ache and then it would get worse. I would get more resentful and mad, it would get worse. I would then get victimized  as if life did something wrong to me by giving me a neck ache. Now, I’m grateful for the reminder that my body wants me to take care of it. It wants to be loved an taken care of. That pain is an sign of something.

Now I know that trying to numb the pain is never the solution. The pain is there for a reason. I’m grateful to be feeling good and to be here to share this message with you. I’m grateful for the time you share here with me. I pray that I remember today to respect myself and respect my body. I accept whatever pain that comes along. Then I can continue to have the peace and love in my life each day. I can have the joy of living life regardless of the pain I’m actually in.

 I pray that in respecting and loving myself that I will feel much less actual pain. I pray that in sharing this with you, you have the same opportunity today. You don’t have to hate every little pain you have. You can look at the pain in your life and say it’s okay. This is the pain I’m supposed to feel right now and it’s okay. I know I will feel different regardless of what I do. If I take better care of myself, I will feel better a lot faster. If I numb the pain, try and ignore it, or try and resent it, I will feel worse. I’m happy to have learned this after thousands of days in awful physical pain, mostly of my own creation. I’m grateful not to have to experience that again as long as I remember what I’m sharing here with you. Thank you and I hope you have a great day today.