If You Don’t Want Chronic Pain, Focus on What You DO Want.

I want to share a little bit of inspiration with you today and tell you about one of the major turning points in my journey from a life that was dominated by chronic migraines to the life I’m living today…

And I’ll start by saying that the life I live today is not a life of being perfectly pain-free or happy or balanced 100% of the time.

Instead, it’s something so much more fulfilling and rewarding to me than a life that’s centered around being “pain-free.”

My current life is one that’s fashioned around doing the things that bring me a sense of purpose, meaning and joy. And for me, that means living a creative life!

It’s a life in which symptoms are no longer the headline, but rather a footnote. They pop up, they come and go, but they no longer escalate to the point of taking over my time and stopping me from doing the things that I love.

The big shift that fueled my recovery:

There were many steps that fueled my recovery. Educating myself about the science of chronic pain was the first step that began to bring down the frequency and intensity of my headaches. Learning how to regularly and safely process and release emotions then brought my healing to a whole new level. And shifting my self-talk from critical to loving unlocked another level of healing yet again.

Then, my recovery plateaued for a while. Until I discovered the next shift that I needed:

Ever since I’d started my healing journey, I’d been focused on getting away from something: Namely, the pain. And initially, that focus was essential for my healing process, because it’s the thing that got me into all this healing work to begin with.

But once my healing trajectory was in motion, I began to realize something: Keeping my focus on something that I did not want (pain) was also keeping me in a protective posture of contraction — which is a core ingredient of the chronic pain pattern. And holding onto that posture will keep the chronic pain pattern going.

What I needed to do at that point, I discovered, was to shift my focus onto the things that I actually do want in life. And keep inviting my focus back to those things over and over and over again. Doing this brings me into a posture of opening up and moving forward, towards the things that I actively choose. And this not only sends messages of empowerment and goodness to my nervous system, furthering my healing day by day, but it’s also the whole entire point of healing!

With tons of encouragement and love,

Anna

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The article lives here: Alternate HealthIf You Don’t Want Chronic Pain, Focus on What You DO Want.
Anna Holtzmanhttp://www.annaholtzman.com
Anna Holtzman is a chronic pain recovery therapist and coach based in New York City.
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