Some of the best lessons I have been taught have come from the wonderful teacher of pain.
They have not all been enjoyable at the time of experience but valuable none the less.
One of the most important lessons is the value of a good sense of humour.
Now hear me out…
Laughter is not merely Novocain for the mind, but a tool to change the intensity and effect that certain emotional and physical symptoms have on us from time to time.
Some of the scariest individuals I have met over the years (in terms of military, fighters etc), have had the keenest senses of humour of most people I’ve met. These people have developed the valuable ability to not only laugh in the face of danger, but also while in the worst conditions imaginable.
This ability is something I have put extensive research to emulate myself, to help with my coping and retention of training. Just as many a true word has been said in jest, many a true lesson has been learnt while in jest.
Whether your pain is due to a break of a relationship or of your arm, the value and applications of laughter are endless.
I remember a time where I was laying in a hospital bed with two broken legs after a stunt I was doing had gone a little awry. It turned out that laughter really is the best medicine, (except when I had broken ribs. That hurt).
I try not to take any chemical substance into my body such as painkillers etc. The only thing that got me through the pain was an overactive laughing gland, (not an accurate anatomical fact).
Through the use of some acupressure points and a few good comedies, my hospital stay was quite pleasant, apart from the food.
In my profession and lifestyle it is inevitable that I will get hurt. We can iron out as many kinks as possible with good planning and training. What this potentially does is stop the long-term damage, but not the pain.
Therefore I’ve had to find a few more ways of dealing with the aforementioned pain to continue to do my profession.
There are a couple of ways I do this (although in writing this it does make me question the validity of my job a little).
One is, that I have learnt to accept pain. This is more than just an, “oh well” moment. It is an absolute acceptance that you have pain and that it is going to be there for a while. It does take a bit of effort initially to find that place in your mind, but when you do…
This works on our brains reflex of ‘continuous stimulus muting’, which is where your brain will stop sending sensations that are ongoing and not reacted to because they are perceived as non-threatening.
When you accept a feeling as known and continuous, your brain will lessen the intensity that your body will feel it, allowing your awareness and energy to be used for more important tasks.
Try this for a fun test at home to prove the point. Start rubbing or scratching the back of one of your hands with your index finger in the exact same spot with the same rhythm. Notice how long it takes for you to have the feeling “muted” and in some cases removed completely.
To really drive the point home, once the point is muted, move your scratch to a point next to where you were scratching and notice the difference in sensation.
Science in action, you have to love that.
Stay tuned, Part 3 in a few days…