Benefits of Pain

Exploring Happiness Blog - Pain

Pain is so ever-present that I would like to work on a definition first. Pain is a feeling showing that something is wrong, emotionally or physically. Can we agree on that? Can we also agree that this might be beneficial?

I’ve been reflecting on pain and its benefits because of the different thresholds I’ve been observing. Apparently, I have a high pain threshold which I blame for running into burnout and cancer. But then pain (emotional and physical) wasn’t really highlighted as something important when I was young. There was much about discipline and pulling myself together. While I don’t think that was always the wrong advice, I did learn that pain is something I need to tolerate. More so as a woman with painful periods and eczema – chronic pain.

How can pain be beneficial?

As my definition says, pain simply shows that something is wrong. But when we don’t pay attention, increase our standards for tolerance or suppress the feeling (hello Panadol, steroids, alcohol etc.) it doesn’t get dealt with. The body is laid out to tolerate some pain – endorphins are a great example because they are our own body’s painkillers. The idea behind endorphins was probably that we can keep running from predators even if we are hurt. But when we find a safe place, we rest and tend to our pain or wound.

So, let me ask you – are you still running from predators or did you feel safe to tend to whatever your pain points to?

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