Pain is a tool your subconscious mind uses to protect you from danger. Your response (moving away from the dangerous thing or holding an injured body part) stops you from getting hurt / more hurt. So your subconscious is just trying to keep you safe, that’s great right?
Yes of course, but not when there is no actual danger! – as can be the case with chronic pain.
Your nervous system responds the same way whether you are facing an imminent threat to your life (eg running from an escaped lion), or something stressful like a looming deadline or an uncomfortable emotion. The problem is, often the latter types of “danger” go on and on, so the nervous system keeps telling you you’re in danger, you don’t take action because you’re not, so it becomes dysregulated and you end up with chronic symptoms.
You can’t always control things that cause you stress (aka perceived danger) but you can learn to respond differently and this makes everything so much easier to deal with. If you’d like help getting started why not sign up to my 8 day Mindfulness for Chronic Pain Series. In the series I’ll guide you through some important concepts and help you become a more empowered version of yourself.