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Emotional Resiliency as a Path Toward Healing

In my work in the realm of mind body medicine, it's not uncommon that my patients come to me wanting to feel better. And, of course, I want that for them too! But, what isn't always obvious at the outset is that the path to feeling better often starts with feeling more.

These days, it seems like the instant gratification world of our consumeristic society often sets us up for thinking healing just depends on finding the right "quick fix" or "magic button". If I just do [blank], I'll get rid of this [insert concerning symptom here]. And although that sometimes can bring you into connection with beautiful practices that cultivate joy, peace, and ease (a very important part of healing!), it's not until we are actually willing to move towards discomfort that we really begin to make big shifts towards wellness.

For those of you who have been practicing with us for some time, you likely know this to be true in how we gently remind you to move to the edge of pain while also cultivating safety. Avoiding pain altogether doesn't work; blowing way past pain doesn't work either. But, working at the edge of pain, we are able to build physical capacity and also push back pain onset. Diane recently reviewed strategies to that end in detail in her series, "Moving Safely". It is in this willingness to be with discomfort that we actually grow in capacity and heal pain, not the other way around.

So although practices that bring you into connection with safety are an immensely important foundation for healing, it is the courage they give you to move towards discomfort that really builds resiliency. And resiliency is the path to healing. So just as we build muscle by creating just enough strain to break it down when we lift weights, we also build capacity to ride the waves of life by gently turning towards the emotions that color it, rather than avoiding them.

This is the topic for our most recent series release, "Embodying Emotions" (coming early April!). The series brings this same knowledge about building resiliency to our more subtle body, the emotional body. It introduces strategies inspired by yoga and somatics meant to help you welcome emotions with safety and support. It encourages feeling more as a path to healing. And, best yet, it is founded in strong research supporting the knowledge that the expression of emotions not only supports wellness but also decreases physical manifestations of that emotion, including pain.

Listen to Brene Brown in this TED Talk, and on her podcast for all the juicy details on emotions research, and maybe even to share a little chuckle with her. And, remember, you are not alone in navigating emotions. If she can do it, you can too. We at Pain Care Collective are here with you.

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