I remember when a friend (mid way through my first severe back pain episode when I was freaking out that I must have damaged something really badly), told me that my pain was all in my head. I was not impressed.
2 years on, a number of intense pain episodes and an MRI scan later I can confirm he was right.
Here’s the funny thing about pain. Because it’s a physical sensation, we assume (in most cases) that it’s caused by something physical.
Through the results of an MRI and noticing patterns in when the episodes of pain happened, I realised that they occurred when I was going through a period of intense work pressure or change. But I love it when business is going well, and things are moving quickly….why is my body doing this?
What I realised is because I do what I love as work, my brain doesn’t always identify the stress as a negative thing. When I’m really busy it probably means business is going well, BUT, this doesn’t mean the stress isn’t just as negative on my body.
Basically my back was forcing me to stop.
And it still does. Whenever things are becoming a little overwhelming I can start to feel the niggle. Only now, I know what it means and I listen to it. I am learning to notice when it happens through my mindfulness practice and calming it so that it doesn’t develop into pain.
Why am I telling you this story?
- Because it demonstrates how closely linked our body and mind is.
- Because it shows you cannot fool your mind – even if you have your dream job / life stress can still get you.
- Because it shows how it is possible to avoid pain with mindfulness and meditation.