Although I don’t get migraines any more thanks to mind-body healing, I still do get mild to moderate head tension when I’m stressed.
And I’m talking about the normal, everyday type of stress — not just the major trauma type of stress.
As a therapist and coach who helps people heal from chronic pain, why am I sharing this? Here’s why:
👉 To normalize “imperfect recovery” from chronic pain. One of the things that can trigger and perpetuate pain flares is the harsh judgment we put on ourselves when we hold ourselves to a standard of perfection when it comes to healing.
👉 To normalize slow and gradual recovery from chronic pain. We all want a quick fix — why wouldn’t we? But shifting neural pathways that were formed by fear is work that requires patience with ourselves.
Your mind can grasp the concepts of mind-body healing fairly quickly. But your nervous system has its own (much slower) pace when it comes to learning new pathways.
I find that my recovery keeps evolving as I keep evolving.
👉 To show that you don’t have to wait until you’re “100% pain-free” before you get back into enjoying life again. In fact, getting back into the things you enjoy is necessary to pain recovery!
👉 To normalize physiological symptoms as just another type of stress response. It’s totally normal to feel some level of anxiety when you’re having a stressful day. Similarly, it’s totally normal to feel some level of physical tension or discomfort when you’re having a stressful day. Your mind and body respond to stress in a connected, coordinated way.
Stress is an inevitable part of life. Feeling affected by stress is an inevitable part of life. But being confused and terrified by your own normal stress responses is NOT a necessary part of life.
When you understand what’s going on in your mind and body, you don’t have to feel afraid of it.
That doesn’t mean you won’t feel frustrated or bummed out when you experience a pain or anxiety flare — they aren’t my idea of fun either. 😜
But when you understand that pain and anxiety flares are normal, natural responses to stress, you’re in a better place to maintain compassion for yourself and to maintain confidence that the flare will pass. And your compassion and confidence will help the flare to pass!
Remember: You’re not alone and there’s nothing “wrong” with you. Pain flares are no fun. They’re also normal. They’re not your fault. You’re not broken. You’re just human.
Sending warmth, support, and encouragement your way 💖
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