When Fear Causes Pain

When Fear Causes PainI wrote the following, talking about fear and pain, in the middle of May but I’m just now sharing it. Go figure.

Ever since this pandemic started, I’ve been feeling stress. Honestly, it started in late February or early March. At first it seemed to be unrelated to the world events. Now I’m not so sure. It feels like stress has been taking steroids lately. Is there such a thing as hyper-stress? That’s what it has felt like.

Does that sound at all familiar?

Let me explain.

Right now, I’m fighting tired. Very tired. More tired than someone who got 7.5 hours of sleep, with no sleep disturbances.

This is why I try to stay informed, but not too informed. I have a dentist appointment next week and received a questionnaire a week in advance. Asking about recent travel and illness and even if I have experienced fatigue. Which had me wondering where the line is between feeling tired and feeling fatigue?

See what I mean? Just like the morning I woke up with a sore throat. Uh. Oh. Could it be Covid?

Or last night when I was coughing. It was something that tickled the back of my throat.

But don’t we all react differently to a cough now?

So yes, there’s stress. None of it real or warranted. All caused by my own scary thinking. Which I’m learning to deal with.

Fear: A Form of Stress

One way that stress shows up is as fear. Let me explain:

A couple of weeks ago, I allowed fear to take over and create pain in my back. Sounds crazy, right?

It started with a little twinge in the back. Only during exercise. This went on for a few days. Then one morning I woke up to pain. As in I-have-to-be-careful-how-I-move-or-else-I’ll-cause-pain pain. Have you ever had back pain? The kind that takes over and won’t let you think about anything else? That’s what it was like.

It continued throughout that day. A Thursday. And it was still there on Friday morning.

It was crazy. I had done nothing to cause an injury. Nothing.

Which made me wonder about the source of it.

So it’s early Friday morning; meditation time. I decide to look at this from a different perspective. Maybe there is no physical issue.

During my meditation, I asked my body about the source of the pain. I actually got my answer. It was fear. I was paying too much attention to fearful thoughts. And the result was pain in my back.

Are you still with me? Or have you abandoned the crazy lady? But I’m not crazy. And there’s more to this story.

fear is just a thoughtWhat I know is that if it is fear then it is just thought. And thoughts can’t really hurt me.

After nearly an hour of this meditation, the pain was gone. Maybe back to a little twinge, but really it was gone. And I knew it was gone for good.

It’s been two weeks now, and it is definitely gone.

Is it always that simple? No, not always. What I’ve learned is that our thinking can be powerful. Yet we don’t have to give it that much power. It’s just thinking. We don’t have to pay attention to it.

That’s one solution to stress. That’s also a good argument for spending less time listening to and reading news. And to spend even less time reading and arguing on social media. We absorb so much of that. Much more than we realize.

It can reduce our internal resources. Impact our immunity. Impact our health in general. We need all those internal resources.

How are you doing in this pandemic? Are you barely getting by? Are you doing okay, but could be better?

I like to think I’m doing well, though I have my moments. I’m always looking to improve. In fact, I want to THRIVE during this time.

How about you? Would you like to be able to thrive during this time? Stay tuned, I’ll have an announcement soon.

Meanwhile, sign up for my mailing list so you can be the first to know!

Barbara
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