Proper Mind-set to Win Against Pain
By definition, pain is an uncomfortable feeling that we get from an unpleasant stimuli. This can happen on a physical, mental, and emotional level. We stub our toes, hit our forehead on the door, or graze our knee against the concrete the floor; that’s physical pain. We lose a loved one, suffer depression, or get angry for being hurt; that’s emotional pain. Lack of self-esteem and confidence can also result mental pain. Is it possible to win against pain throughout the course of our lifetime? A lot of people don’t seem to think so, while there are others who just shrug it off and pretend like it didn’t happen.
How does one win against pain?
Physical pain is, in my opinion, the easiest level of pain that we can manage because we can use various therapeutic and medical treatments to alleviate the pain. Sometimes, we even use osteopathy when medical treatments are just too expensive. Of course, the pain of losing an arm or leg is severe than losing a loved one, but this is all subjective because it varies from one person to another.
Let us go over how people deal with emotional pain. One of my most favourite theories on how people deal with pain is from Sigmund Freud and his theories on defense mechanisms. According to Freud, people react differently to stimuli that caused harm or pain to their EGO. Sigmund Freud deduced that our unconscious is divided into three parts: the ID, SUPEREGO, and EGO. The ID contains all of our instinctual trends and desires, the SUPEREGO focuses on playing a critical and moral role, and the EGO is the more realistic and organized part of the human psyche.
In theory, our defense mechanisms play a huge role in preventing emotional pain. Most common forms of defense mechanisms are denial, repression, regression, compensation, and projection. There are also 10 more defense mechanisms which any of you may have felt throughout the course of your life, like compartmentalization, idealization, and reaction formation. Defense mechanisms can minimize emotional pain, but it only provides us with a Band-Aid relief.
The proper mind-set
Emotional pain is difficult to manage, simply because it is subjective according to the person who experiences it. As a counsellor, I often find myself using a theory similar to that of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s Grief Cycle, where a person undergoes five different stages of grief before he or she can finally reach acceptance. This theory is used by psychologists and counsellors who treat dying patients or their relatives.
On my end, the person needs to identify or acknowledge the pain and the factors behind it, and he or she needs to be positive about it all throughout until they reach the final stage, ACCEPTANCE. Most of the time, people don’t even want to admit that they have been hurt.
Even if you were to use my model, or Kubler-Ross’s, the fact here is that people only need to accept the fact that they have been hurt so they can find a way to get through it, not around it. Whether you’re going through a tough relationship, lost a relative or someone close to you, or lost your job, it is important that you keep a healthy mind-set of acceptance when it’s time to deal the pain.