It’s safe to say most of us are not big fans of pain.
Nevertheless, it is one of the body’s most important communication tools.
Imagine, for instance, what would happen if you felt nothing when you put your hand on a hot stove.
Pain is one way the body tells you something’s wrong and needs attention.
But pain – whether it comes from a bee sting, a broken bone or a long-term illness – is also an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience.
It has multiple causes and people respond to it in multiple and individual ways.
The pain that you manage to push your way through might be incapacitating to someone else.
While in the shower, the boiler trips and you are left with shampoo in your eyes and freezing cold water pouring all over you!
The stress is building!
After you manage to rinse away all the shampoo you rush to get dressed, ripping a big hole in your tights and realising that this was your last pair.
Quick change of plan for what you are going to wear to work means that you are even later.
You finally manage to leave the house with no time to eat your breakfast and knowing that you will be very late
for your first meeting of the day.
There was a frost last night and you spend extra time scraping the windscreen before you can actually drive to work.
Even though this is a made- up scenario, you can see how easily pain, anxiety, stress and panic can build into your daily life.
Even just worrying about things that might never happen will add to your bucket of stress.
And in turn this will cause you to carry a huge burden of pain and stress with you throughout the day.
Most physical pain can be treated by a doctor and is a temporary relief.
About 70 per cent of people with chronic pain treated with pain medication experience episodes of what’s called breakthrough pain.
Breakthrough pain refers to flare-ups of pain that occur even when medication is being used regularly.
Sometimes it can be spontaneous or set off by a seemingly insignificant event such as rolling over in bed.
And sometimes it may be the result of pain medication wearing off before it’s time for the next dose.
So even if you are taking medication to help, you
are often living with an underlying level of pain normally caused by stress and anxiety.
It is therefore very important to build some strategies into your life to help keep yourself from getting stressed out.
But that’s easier said than done I know!
If you suffer from panic attacks or anxiety, I have found from experience that breathing techniques, exercise (particularly walking or outside activities) and having a good friend to talk to have all helped.
Make sure that when you eat, you think about the meal as fuel for your brain and energy for your body, so don’t fill yourself with sugar and processed food and lay off the alcohol as well.
Try to identify what your main cause of emotional pain is and, as hard as it might be, this is the thing that you should focus on the least.
For example if you worry constantly about money, your subconscious will be overloading you with negative thoughts around your lack of money.
So flip this around and think about how it will feel to have enough money.
If you re-program your thoughts to be more positive, then the negative thoughts will become fewer and fewer.
Nikki Caputa is a health and fitness coach who works one-to-one with clients and runs her own fitness camps in Fareham where she trains groups. Nikki is also an ambassador for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and a UK Hypo-presive Method Trainer. She helps people master a fitness technique that targets the core. Visit fab-body-fitness.co.uk. Follow Nikki on Twitter @nikkifitmum1