Some while ago, I had an acquaintance asking me “How easy it was to be easily stimulated by our five senses?”
I thought for a little while, and replied “I honestly think, the more connected we are, to how we feel, the more acutely we are aware of how our senses stimulate us”
And one of the shapeless, invisible, weightless emotion is pain.
And yet, pain could feel heavy, crushing, agonizing, anxiety provoking. If it is really bad, it feels as if you’re in an abyss in the middle of nowhere, and no one is there for millions of miles around, and your phone is dead, and the air is suffocating. And you’re paralyzed.
That is what pain does. It paralyses you and numbs your other senses.
I’m referring to emotional pain, of course. You feel it, but you can’t touch it, see it, nor hear it. But it’s there, gnawing away at your heart (feels like it), deepening your sighs, preoccupying your mind. It makes itself known, in a grand, Cannes red carpet sort of way.
Why does that emotional pain exist? And what do we get out of it?
Let’s have a look way back into time. Charles Darwin, the English naturalist, wrote in his book “The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals”, theorized that emotions evolved and were adapted over time. Hence, emotional pain serves as a survival instinct, not to put ourselves in the same situations that have previously brought us pain. When growth adapts, and emerges from that same source of pain, we learn, and slowly wiggle ourselves away from that cocoon which has been enveloping us. And, we emerge, wiser and more resilient.
Some of us feel more acutely, we feel joy easily than others, we feel sadness deeply than others, and we get more angry, anxious and contented easily compared to others.
And all of us have our own signature way of coping through pain.
The big question is, which way works best for you?
First and foremost, acknowledging the presence of pain is important. Next, be aware that how it’s making you feel, how its hurting you and affecting the way you live.
Then, decide whether you want to get or feel better or not.
Once you’ve decided, activate your resources.
Actively set aside time to do things you enjoy, whether you feel like it or not. Reading, movies, travelling, gardening, going out etc.
Get your heart rate up by exercising- taking the stairs, jogging, swimming , hiking etc.
Talk to people
Involve yourself in constructive activities
Do something innovative at work
Embark on a personal project.
Find something that works for you. If you managed to push through pain, and emerged victorious, write to me and I’d love to know about your experience.