The Power of Pain
Pain is something that we all go through at some point in our lives. From the moment we are born there are so many factors that influence our exposure to pain. As a toddler pain is something that is so new to us and we simply react by crying. If we fall down we cry, we get hungry we cry, we feel physical pain we cry. But then something interesting happens, we grow older and all the things that hurt as a child doesn’t seem to hurt as much anymore… our bodies and brains evolve and we start to tolerate and build a resilience to pain. Then something else happens we learn a different type of pain. The pain of a loss of a loved one, financial loss, pain in sickness, pain in losing a child and of course heartbreak. These types of pain are not as easy to get out of. People struggle for months and years and sometimes never fully recover. For being Apex predators this is an area we humans struggle with the most. Psychological pain does not discriminate either, doesn’t matter where you are from or how rich or poor, we all experience this pain in some capacity or another.
So what’s the meaning of all this ? As humans our brains are actually wired to avoid pain and run away from it. It’s actually a defense mechanism that’s built into us to avoid danger. Our monkey brains are programmed to avoid the sabretooth tiger in prehistoric times and put us into fight or flight so we can escape and survive. Pain is built into the human consciousness as a strong survival mechanism. It is one of our biggest weaknesses but also one of our greatest strengths.
When feeling pain it’s best to recognize it for what it is. Physical pain is really easy to identify, usually solved with a lot of rest, rehab, surgery in some cases but it’s very curable. Psychological pain takes a lot more effort and there really isn’t one right way to help heal. Physical exercise is a great one and I personally believe to be the most underrated mental health medication there is. Cold showers is another great one if you can handle it, your dopamine levels increase immediately by a factor of almost 100% and if you’re really hard core those ice baths have an even higher effect. The most important thing to learn is that time is the number one healer of psychological pain. It’s the one thing that really does heal all. As each day passes our brains adjust and it starts to hurt just a little bit less everyday and then a few weeks and months go by and you see your self in a whole light and you’ve come out much stronger in the end. But when you’re in the thick of it remember that this is a good thing. Pain helps us to feel empathy for others, it makes us kinder people and also can be a great source of motivation that will allow us to strive for better. Pain is good, it’s what makes us human and besides if life was all rosy all the time we’d never really appreciate the good days from the bad. Next time something bad happens and you feel any pain, just remember that this is our bodies/brains way of telling us that you’re human, it’s okay to feel this way, revel in it, breathe it, cry if you have to but realize that no matter what you will be okay. We’ve survived for tens of thousands of years through tremendous pain and disaster… you’re gona be okay.