Change The Way You React When Afraid
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do." --Eleanor Roosevelt
I'm listening to a wonderful book on tape, Take Control of Your Life, by Mel Robbins. The premise of the book is that we are unable to identify a positive perspective when facing adversity, which comes from a place of fear. She postulates that our bodies have a learned flight or fight response that we are not even aware of, and before we can even process that we might be afraid or upset we can feel our body reacting to the fear. For me it might be an increase in pain, for others a headache or stomach ache or even an urge to eat or just sit and binge watch TV. If we feel the reaction and stop and ask, what am I afraid of?" we can slow down the body's response and minimize our suffering.
I decided, I'm already in pain, what do I have to lose? So, the next time my pain began to flare I thought about what I was afraid of. Sometimes I was afraid of the pain itself. Once I was afraid of writing this blog. Sometimes I was afraid because I thought I wasn't good enough. Each time, once I identified the fear I was able to change my mindset. This helped me understand and control my fear, and it actually helped me cope with the pain.