When you’re dealing with a lot of pain, and doing what you can to feel better, it certainly can be demoralizing when you can’t detect change. Frankly any effort, is more likely to be a sustainable effort if you can detect improvement along the way. It keeps your morale up, and thus your willpower to continue the effort. To that end I want to offer some subtle tips to pay attention to when you’re already in pain and waiting and working towards healing.
There are three different ways pain noticeably goes away. A helpful analogy is to think of the pain like music on a radio.
- How loud is the radio? (Intensity)
- How often does it come on? (Frequency)
- How long does it stay on, when it is on? (Duration)
If you have headaches, how intense are they? And is the intensity decreasing? Or they might be just as intense but if you now get them only 3 times per week, instead of 5 times that’s a good sign. Or you might still get headaches 5 times a week, but instead of lasting all day, they only last until lunch time, that’s a good sign too. Any one of these changes can give a boost in morale and a little encouragement to continue the effort.
The point is to notice the feedback when it comes. And changes to the pain you’re dealing with, like the example above is feedback. It’s not too hard to master something if we take notice of the right feedback. We too often assume that pain is ONLY a bad thing, and I certainly don’t want you to be in pain, but inherently it’s just feedback. Pay attention to it. Use it.
Caution!! – There are some important limits to what we just described however. Pain is only one type of feedback among many, and sometimes it can be pretty fickle as well. While current pain that decreases is usually a good sign. The current absence of pain DOES NOT mean there is no problem. And I’m not only talking about sneaky diseases either. Poor bodily function, needn’t cause pain for a long time, until it does… Pain and Problems are not the same thing. Problems can be present without pain. And that’s very important, but more on that another time.