When chronic pain becomes too much to handle, many women tend to try even harder to relieve it.
One personality trait that women with pelvic pain or other mind body syndromes often have is perfectionism.
Maybe you can relate.
We can have high expectations of ourselves and a drive to do things well and get a lot done. As a result, we may push ourselves and work hard, often at the expense of our body, to achieve what we want.
When Chronic Pain Becomes Too Much
Before being diagnosed with pelvic pain, many of my clients are high-achieving successful women who got to where they are in their lives with hard work, determination and effort.
It’s a successful strategy.
So it’s only natural, when you are diagnosed with pelvic pain, that you would apply these same strategies to healing and relieving your pain.
Initially that may look like lots of research, to find the best specialists, and explore every option available to you.
And that can pay off. It can lead to answers and treatments you may never have known about otherwise – like mind body pain relief.
Unfortunately this same pattern will not continue to be helpful when it comes to applying a mind body approach to relieving your pain.
When chronic pain becomes too much, you can’t relieve it with hard work and effort because hard work and effort impact your body in ways that create and perpetuate pain.
In fact, when chronic pain becomes too much to handle, scheduling your day to revolve around relieving your symptoms can be counterproductive.
If you’re feeling stressed about all the things you’re trying to do every day to relieve your pain, like physical therapy exercises, meditation, appointments, pain journals, food prep, mind body practice, etc. that may be a clue that you’re working too hard.
The treatments themselves, and the underlying beliefs behind how you’re using them can become part of the problem.
To be successful with mind body pain relief it’s important to approach healing in a different way. Instead of working hard and putting a lot of pressure on yourself to do everything, and do it right, you want to move towards relaxing and taking pressure off yourself.
This may feel weird at first! And that’s totally normal. You’re learning a whole new way of being.
Your Body is on Your Side
Your body holds more wisdom than you could possibly imagine.
The brilliance of any chronic pain syndrome, and especially chronic pelvic pain, is that in order to relieve it you must change the patterns of perfectionism, self-pressure, and hard work that are often at the root of the pain.
When chronic pain becomes too much, you must learn to slow down, relax into your body and feel.
Your body is literally demanding that you do.
From what I’ve seen and experienced myself this will change your life for the better in so many wonderful ways! It may not be easy at first, but it doesn’t require lots of effort, it just requires showing up.
As counterintuitive as it may seem, relieving pain isn’t a process of working hard to fix your body (your body isn’t broken), it’s a process of relaxing into who you already are.
Stop trying so hard.
That’s what calms down your nervous system and signals safety to your brain.
Stop Fixing. Start Being.
What if instead of trying to fix your body, you start loving it instead.
What might you do differently?
Would you drop some things off your To Do list?
Would you worry less about doing things right?
Would you make choices based on what felt good rather than what you should do?
How do you think that would feel?
You don’t have to stop all effort all at once. (In other words don’t try to do this perfectly either! Even though I know you probably want to :)) Instead, take baby steps. Give yourself a chance to build up your muscle for trusting your body and yourself.
Notice the ways you put pressure on yourself and see if you can start taking some of that pressure off.
Just get headed in the right direction.
Remember, lasting healing and relief begin from the premise that you are already whole.
Because you are.
What one baby step can you take towards releasing effort today? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!