02 Jun How your emotions are connected to physical pain?
Usually, people with pain in the neck, shoulders, back or hips believe that the pain is due to a physical injury. However, if one talks to these patients at length, similar patterns of emotional phenomena can be traced.
Mind – the generator of emotions is unfortunately difficult to study in a laboratory. Emotions never lend themselves to test-tube experiments and measurement. Hence in today’s evidence-based world, we tend to ignore the role of emotions on our physical health.
Emotions play a significant role in causing physical disorders.
Some common occasions when people start complaining about such kind of pain are when they are undergoing a financial crisis or health crisis or even happy (but stressful) occasions like marriage, child birth, shifting of home or a job, caring for elders or a patient at home etc.
The cause of pain is not in the life-occasion itself but the degree of anxiety that it generates. On many such occasions when our emotions are generated, they are also repressed; especially unpleasant or embarrassing emotions like anger, far-fetched desires, guilt etc. These, in turn, become the stimulus for the manifestation of tension in the physical body. As long as one can generate emotions, one is susceptible to these common physical disorders.
Are you the one who is obsessed with the pain phenomena?
Sometimes when the physical pain has lasted for long or has been recurring, we get sensitised by the very experience of it. We see ourselves as permanently altered. We fear more pain and it eventually comes. Some of this pain also becomes the primary focus of our lives – being aware of it the first thing in the morning and also remembering it as the last thing when we are about to sleep.
So how should one treat such disorders?
One must understand that pain is only a symptom. The focus needs to be on treating the “whole person”. Holistic means consideration of both the emotional and structural aspects of health and illness.
Primitive but true – The human body’s biological capacity for healing and for restoration has evolved over millions of years of life on this planet. Our body parts tend to heal very quickly when they are injured. Even the largest bone – the femur, takes only 6 weeks to heal. Hence usually an injury that occurred 2 years ago or even 2 months ago may not be the real cause of the lingering pain.
Physical pain or illness in any form usually has the duty to draw our attention away from the realm of emotions.
Hence building self-awareness is often key to keep a check on emotions. Lifestyle changes, like food consumed, plays a big role in how we feel through the day. Regular meditation can consciously help in modifying mental make-up to counter over-ambitiousness nature, being hyper-responsible, perfectionist or competitive in every hour of life. As simple as it sounds, but usually “Rest”, is not just a panacea for all types of aches but also is therapeutic for the mind.