Who cares about pain and stress reduction?
- 54% percent of Americans are concerned about the level of stress in their everyday lives.
- 62% of Americans say work has a significant impact on stress levels.
- Two thirds of Americans say they are likely to seek help for stress.
Statistics from an APA Survey in 2004
An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from persistent pain each year.
from an American Pain Foundation poll
These numbers dwarf the number of cases of ‘new and exciting’ problems which are frequently called ‘epidemic’.
Clearly this is a widespread problem… the question for this article becomes:
How can the techniques from the Online Free Self Hypnosis series help with these challenges facing so many people?
The first step is to recognize that both of these conditions, stress and pain, take place in consciousness.
This doesn’t mean that “they are all in your head”… but your experience of them is.
If you are unconscious… there is no stress… there is no pain.
The real solution isn’t to become unconscious (this is rather inconvenient to say the least)… the solution is to understand that your beliefs, attitudes and intent (all aspects of consciousness) will determine your reaction to stimuli, which will in turn determine your experience of pain and stress (as well as pleasure, peacefulness, etc.).
Where can we confirm this in daily life?
A roller coaster and a car accident are very similar. Physiologically speaking, they are almost identical. You get jerked around violently. Your heart rate and breathing increase. Your perception of time tends to change. So what’s the difference?
In the car crash, you expect pain and possibly death… so it is terrifying. On a roller coaster, you expect to have a good time, so it is fun and exciting (this isn’t true in all cases… many people don’t like roller coasters, and I’ve even met one person that enjoys rollover accidents).
For different views of what might be called ‘painful’, look no further than a massage therapist. For people who are used to it, and people who are good at relaxing… deep tissue massage is wonderful, and can help you release much more than tension. For people who aren’t good at relaxing, or don’t like body work, deep tissue massage is like slow torture (which lasts for many days after it is finished).
Are pain and stress useful?
Before we let them go, it is important to note that pain and stress can be useful feedback mechanisms. They both let you know you are having an adverse reaction to a stimulus. The easy (and sometimes appropriate) response is to avoid that stimulus.
The classic example is a hot stove… If you put your hand on a hot stove, you get burned. The simple yet powerful self hypnosis technique I will be describing in a moment isn’t necessary. The even simpler self hypnotic affirmation “I’m never touching that hot stove again!” will work best here. Useful techniques will serve you best only if you use them when and where they are useful. This seems obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people, in effect, attempting to fix a window with a hammer.
With that said…
How do we get immediate relief from pain and stress?
The 3 Ahhs Technique
This technique is a quick way to give you a little bit of space, peace, and clarity. It is best used when you first notice a very little bit of stress and/or pain.
- Take a deep breath, and as you exhale, relax and say “ahhhhh”
- Repeat two more times, allowing yourself to relax a little bit more each time.
When you use this technique consistently, it begins to build a momentum of peacefulness and relaxed pleasure. It works the same way the pain or stress built up momentum… only in the opposite direction.
This may not eliminate stress and/or pain entirely the first time you practice… but the more you practice, the more you will experience easy pain and stress reduction, and an increase in satisfaction and happiness throughout your life.
Important Note: Even if you eliminate your stress and/or pain entirely with these techniques, do not change the dosage of any medications you are taking without consulting your doctor. If you are taking meds, discuss all options of changing dosage or ending the use of medication with your doctor first.
What about other techniques?
Using the countdown, or any of the other techniques I cover in the Daily Meditation series on a daily basis (whether you are experiencing any pain or stress at the time or not) will gradually make you a much more peaceful person… much less likely to experience pain and stress.
It is important that you commit to living a pain and stress free life… and be willing to lovingly work as hard as needed to realize that goal!
When you regularly practice the techniques I describe with the intent to let go of pain and stress… they will have profound results.
One final note: Please understand that these techniques are primarily for:
- Relationship stress
- Work stress
- ‘Nagging’ pain from old injuries
- Pain during injury recovery
- Pain control in the event of serious injury (while seeking medical attention)
If unexpected or sever pain and/or stress occur, please contact a medical or psychiatric professional as appropriate. They will likely encourage you to use these techniques or techniques similar to these to help manage the stress and pain, but other processes may be necessary as well. As with all techniques, these are meant to be applied with intelligence and good judgment.
Play with Self Hypnosis.
Make it a part of your everyday life. The more you practice relaxed and peaceful acceptance of what arises, the more you will recognize that you are more than your mind and body.
This recognition will eventually allow you to let go of all suffering from stress and pain!
P.S. I added these pictures just to give you some positive images to replace the ‘negative’ ones earlier in this post (or to use in general throughout life):