4 Simple Steps To Transform Your Pain

I think most of us could agree that to be happy to some extent is to suffer less. When we are let down, insulted or treated unkindly, it often causes us pain, and even more often we try to push it away and "forget about it". Many people, from parents to therapists to friends, give the advice of "venting" our anger or sadness. Yell, curse, hit a pillow. But when we use venting techniques like these, we are actually rehearsing anger. By pushing our feelings away or trying to deal with them in a negative manner, we are not getting rid of our pain at all, but rather pushing it deeper into our consciousness, which causes a whole other world of suffering for us from resentment to health issues.

We all have learned to comfort our friends, family and children when they are in pain. We are there for them, wish them well, ask them how they are doing later. But many of us suffer from lack of compassion for ourselves and do not treat ourselves and our feelings with the same tenderness. We forget that we as individuals are just as worthy of compassion, empathy and forgiveness as everyone else. 

When we are hurt, sad, angry, etc, we are in pain- but we don't have to suffer. Instead of pushing your pain away or trying to deal with it by venting, practice being mindful and embracing your pain.

Here are 4 simple steps that will help to transform your pain in order to avoid suffering.

1. Be mindful
Mindfulness is the capacity of being aware of what is going on in the present moment. Take a moment to turn your attention inward to how you are feeling. Make yourself aware of the anger, sadness or whatever it is that you are feeling, then find your pain by becoming aware of where it is in your body that you feel hurt. Once we recognize our anger, we embrace it with a lot of awareness, a lot of tenderness.

2. Accept
 Tell yourself it is okay to have this pain or anger. Become aware of its presence, accept it and allow it to be there. Instead of fighting it, embrace and take good care of your emotion.

3. Comfort
Treat your pain with compassion. Tell your pain that you acknowledge and feel it and then wish it well, give it love and comfort it the way you would a friend, family member or child who is suffering.

4. Check in
No, your work doesn't end there. Go back to your pain day to day, continuing to acknowledge, allow it, and comfort it until you come to heal from it.

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