When you are in pain, it is often difficult to pay attention to the things that make life worth living. The pain seems to swallow up all the attention and can make nothing seem worthwhile... What can you do about values and pain?
The negative spiral
One of the most annoying patterns that can arise when you are in pain is the negative spiral. Because of the pain you notice that you can do less and less. You feel worse. Maybe you think more and more about that nasty pain, that it should stop. How you would want your old life back. And slowly the problems, and the pain, seem to get worse and worse.
Doing is feeling
What we do determines very much how we feel. By being able to do less, you soon feel worse. Is it possible to get back into the positive spiral? I believe so, and I've seen it happen many times. It takes patience and perseverance. But you will see that when you manage to rebuild important activities in your own life, this affects your whole life. That even the pain can change. As you may have read before, the brain causes pain when it concludes that there is danger. By undertaking valuable activities, you not only have fun but you can also work on your buffer for pain.
Values and Pain: Exercise
Make yourself a list of things you find important in life. Some examples:
- Your relationship
- Training and self-development
- Faith or spirituality
You can make the list longer yourself if you want! Then rate how important each part is to you. Between 1 (not important at all) and 10 (the most important thing in your life).
Then rate how satisfied you are with the different parts at this point in your life.
In the next blog we will pick up the exercise further, and look at the steps you can take.