Mental health

Embrace your pain.

The first time I heard about this concept it was through my friend Sara. She graduated in Psychology – even though you wouldn’t believe that, judging from the delicateness of our conversations and her softness in talking about feelings… Nonetheless, I can’t help but loving her straightforwardness, it’s so rare to have friends who just tell you the truth without hiding pieces of it for fear of hurting you. Anyway, I really enjoy it when she explains to me psychological notions that we can apply to our everyday life.

Once she told me about this theory, according to which every (or almost every) of our physical deseases is actually a manifestation of some psychological problem. For instance, it is very common that women get breast cancer when they are deeply afraid of losing their children (when the children grow up, get to live on their own, or they are involved in a serious relationship, etc.). Another very common example might be the stomach ache due to anxiety (which I’ve had since I was about 10, btw). Also, it seems that menstrual cramps are more painful in women who don’t accept their period as a manifestation of their womanhood.

After this, at one of my first Yoga classes, my teacher made us focus deeply on our physical and emotional pains, breathing in, before softly letting them go, by breathing out. Unfortunately I can’t explain it as well as her, but basically you need to really feel them in order to get rid of them. You can’t just kick them away.

In the last weeks, I was stuck for a long time in bed because of a very strong muscular contraction in my back. I couldn’t move without feeling a terrible pain holding me down. The day after I got this, I was skyping with my psychologist (yes, skyping; it was the only way to continue my therapy without ending my back-and-forth Italy-Brazil travels). When I told her that the pain started while I was sitting on the bed complaining about my mom (who didn’t want me to come back to Brazil after only two months in Italy) she asked me: “Do you think it’s a coincidence that you got such a paralyzing pain exactly while talking about your parents’ paralyzing control over you?”. Hmm, interesting.

As I said in a previous post, last Wednesday I had a wisdom tooth removed. Now, I can’t deny that most of this terrible pain is due to the fact that the dentist had to break my bone to get that damn tooth out of there. But what about getting rid of this pain? Well, this morning I thought about all these things, and laid down on the bed with my left hand on my heart and my right hand on my belly button – a very relaxing position my Yoga teacher taught me months ago. I closed my eyes and focused hard on the pain. I embraced it, I accepted it and I welcomed it as a part of me. Once I was trully feeling it, I breathed it all in, and then I let it go by breathing out. You won’t believe this, even I couldn’t believe this, but after a couple of breaths the pain was gone. I’m not even going to add anything ’cause I don’t want to spoil this peace I’m feeling inside. I’m just going to enjoy it a bit longer, quietly.



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