Dr. Susie Gronski
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Why letting go is easier than holding on

What would you do if you were holding onto a rope that was being constantly pulled on the other end? I hope you said you would let it go. No one wants to deal with bloody blisters on their hands. Ouch!

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The same applies to the experience of pain. Pain is a feeling like, happiness, joy, sadness, and anger. It’s normal for you to feel pain throughout your life. Is it always pleasant, no and I get that. But what would happen if suddenly you could shift your mind to think differently about your pain.

What if I told you that by changing your mindset from negative to positive you could gradually change the way you feel, lessening your pain?

How do you train your mind to feel peace even in the face of pain? Meditate.

Meditation is a woo woo term that makes some people eerily uncomfortable. Why? Well for one, it’s usually associated with a buddhist monk who locks himself away for hundreds of years to attain enlightenment. And while enlightenment is actually a true practice, this doesn’t mean that you have to give away your belongings and move to the himalayas to get some peace of mind.

The purpose of meditation is to make the mind calm and peaceful. When you’re naturally free from worry or mental pain and/or discontent, in that moment, you’re experiencing true happiness.

A lot times, our mind is obsessed with finding the next best thing  whether that’s a new job, new partner, new cure, more money, you name it, we’re looking for it. But once you get what you want,  there’s always the next thing that takes its place. How often do we keep telling ourselves, “I’ll be happier if x,y and z happens”? We’re so obsessed with controlling what’s going on on the outside that we forget what’s going on on the inside. Worry, anxiety, ruminating thoughts (especially about pain), only weigh you down and create more suffering.

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Even though our outer problems are endless, our inner problems are solvable. What does it take? Mental flexibility, mental resilience, practice, patience, acceptance and an understanding that no matter how hard you try, you can’t control what’s happening around you. There’s almost always something that changes what we originally had planned.

Dealing with pelvic pain is grueling, frustrating, and depressing. For some it goes away quickly for others it lingers a bit longer. It’s ok to ask for help and seek treatment, but I wonder how peaceful your mind is while you’re doing it? Is your mind tight, agitated, frustrated and angry? Are you thinking to yourself “why me?”.  If it is, you’ll never find the answer you’re looking for. The more expectations you have, the more disappointed you’ll be.

If you let go of worry, expectations and anxieties over getting better, you’ll be surprised how easier it will be navigating through pelvic pain. It’s like that rope, the harder you hold on to that moving rope the more it hurts. So, wouldn’t it be easier just to let go?

Now, I’m not saying that your pain is all in your head because it’s not. You’re physically feeling pain and you want it to go away now. I understand where you’re coming from.  But until the feeling goes away, wouldn’t you rather have a peaceful mind dealing with pelvic pain rather than an angry and agitated mind?

The fact that you’re dealing with this pain is not your choice but you do have the choice to experience it with a peaceful and accepting perspective versus a frustrated and impatient one.  

When has frustration or worry ever solved anything?
 

Here’s what you can do to start training your mind and feel better:

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  1. Accept your pain experience - Simply accepting the current situation you’re dealt with is half the battle. If you just sit with the pain, without trying to change anything, you can avoid spiraling into suffering. Understand that nothing is permanent and this experience will pass.

  2. Create more head space - Focus on one thing in your mind, like your breathing. When you focus on just one thing you actually settle the mind and create greater peace. Calming your extra sensitive nervous system and lessening the pain perception.

  3. Whenever negative thoughts arise about your pain, sit with those thoughts and acknowledge how you’re feeling without judging yourself. The more you resist, the louder the negative thoughts get.

  4. Understand that you might be sore but you’re safe.