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How I Deal With Pain

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Probably around a year ago, I figured out a way to easily increase my tolerance for pain. I imagine it’s been well documented before by some ancient spiritual guru or something, but it was new to me. I think it probably only works with minor to medium amounts of pain, as I haven’t had a great amount of pain since coming up with this method. It’s a little mind trick I play on myself with minor injuries such as stubbing a toe, burning a finger, or even getting a needle inserted into your skin.

Let’s take my most recent one, which is when I reached into the oven to quickly remove a pizza slice that had fallen to the bottom. I didn’t think it through too well and hit the heating iron with my finger which made me pull back right away and left a hot throbbing spot on my finger for a little while. The typical way I used to deal with burns like this is try to do anything to reduce the pain (cold water, ice, blowing on it, shaking it). The problem with doing that is I was focusing on the pain the whole time. Now what I do is focus on the rest of my body that feels just great.

So my trick is to take my mind off of the pain by focusing on my whole body. It’s cool how it works, and it’s pretty easy to do. I usually think of my chest and stomach, since it’s the biggest part of me, and that usually feels great. Then I think of my legs, arms, head, even the other fingers on that hand. When I realize that there’s less than one square inch of me that hurts, it really seems to make that pain seem rather trivial. Another thing I’ve been able to take advantage of is the fact that our bodies are symmetrical for the most part. So in this burnt finger case, I can focus on that same finger on my other hand, and it seems to lessen the pain even more.

It’s funny how this works. I like to observe certain circumstances and people’s reactions to them. Pain is certainly a great thing to observe. This practice lets me now observe the type of pain more than before. In the past, I would be so annoyed by the pain, I would only focus on trying to make it feel better. Now I kind of pay attention to the phases of the pain and what my body does in reaction to it. Sure, maybe I’m a demented freak, but I enjoy it.

As I said before, I haven’t really had any very painful experiences since I started doing this, but I have had a couple of headaches (I only get pretty minor headaches). I found it much more difficult to do this with the headaches. I imagine it’s because the head is pretty much the control center of the body. Perhaps I will get better at this as things go on, we’ll see. I don’t tend to get many headaches or stomach aches, which I imagine would be harder to deal with as well.

Leave some comments if you’ve tried this out, I’m curious to hear more.

Comments (4)

Hi,
I found your blog via google by accident and have to admit that youve a really interesting blog πŸ™‚
Just saved your feed in my reader, have a nice day πŸ™‚

It appears that even those who do not know you, cannot resist the awesomeness of your blogging powers.

On another note…

One observation you may have missed is the number of entries in each of the categories of your blog. I thought it was funny that your most prominent category is “Awesome”. Also worth noting is the fact that you have discussed UFC twice as much as wakeboarding. Just food for thought.

That’s a tough one. I try and think that my pain could be worse. I remember waking up from surgery and thinking that I was glad I didn’t have a baby because I hear it’s painful.

I also try and imagine people around me and how I would act differently if people were watching me. In elementary school, me and some kids were playing around at a construction site and I was acting like I was on a balance beam, and said, “don’t try this at home kids.” Then, less than 10 seconds later, I fell and scraped my left leg hard core. If I was by myself, I probably would have cried my eyes out, but because people were around me, I toughed it out…then cried later because it was so embarrassing.

Maybe your way is better. It seems to be a positive experience vs. a negative one.

this is awesome billy the kid!! you’re very wise

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