The struggle with pain makes us more fragile
I am sure you have heard so many times in your life, “don’t give up, fight for what you want, fight against pain”. You hear people pushing you, you need to be brave, if you quit, you are weak.
I will start with what is pain. Pain is a complex stressor that presents a significant challenge to most aspects of functioning and contributes to substantial physical, psychological, occupational, and financial cost, particularly in its chronic form. Pain may contribute to development of maladaptive cognitions and behavior that worsen daily functioning, increase psychiatric distress, or prolong the experience of pain. Individuals suffering from chronic pain tend to show increased vulnerability to a variety of psychiatric conditions, including depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder.
New understanding shows that our cognitive, thinking process, make pain even greater.
2. Pain-related fear reflects a fear of injury or worsening your condition through activities that may trigger pain. Pain-related fear is associated with increased pain intensity and increased disability. Pain-related fear contributes to disability by fostering passive or avoidant pain-coping behaviors, so you start avoiding pain, but also people, activities, hobbies, life.
First of all, acceptances is a long process, with all ups and downs, it is never final. It takes small steps, minor improvement and uncertainty.
What would mean acceptances when we speak about pain?
It would mean flexibility.
Psychological flexibility has been defined as an ability to engage in the present moment in a way that allows the individual to either maintain or adjust his or her behavior in the way that is most consistent with internally held goals and values. Pain acceptance is defined as a process of nonjudgmentally acknowledging pain, stopping maladaptive attempts to control pain, and learning to live a richer life in spite of pain. Acceptance of pain predicts lower levels of pain catastrophizing and greater levels of positive affect, which in turn reduce the association between pain intensity and negative emotions.
The goal is restructuring this negative cognitive beliefs into a more realistic appraisal of your current condition. Nonetheless, it is curiosity about pain and engagement with pain. There is no final destination, it is a journey where we try to understand pain and give it a meaning.
Researches say we are participating with pain by how much attention we give to it, by the contents of our thoughts.