Many or all people reading this would be able to relate to instances in life where you face chronic pain but forget about it momentarily when you are doing something else that is mind consuming.
This is the fight between the subconscious vs unconscious. Have you ever wondered why that is?
Your mind doesn’t live because you live. You live because your mind lives. Got it?!
Our subconscious minds are programmed in a way to operate independently without any interference of our personal lives getting into the mix. It’s an amazing thing the mind when you think about it.
Let’s say you were trying to solve some algebraic equation and you’re really concentrating on this problem. If your subconscious mind weren’t programmed to run on its own, then you would forget to breathe while trying to solve it!!
So, in other words, your mind wanders and thinks, reacts and problem solves… But this does not come from us thinking about it, but because we are not thinking about it.
Sounds really weird right?!
Let me try to explain…
The Power Of Your Conscious Subconscious Unconscious Mind (what a mouthful!)
Our minds consist of three parts. All 3 parts of your mind work together to create your reality.
The science behind the concept of the 3 mind levels is not new. I’m sure you’ve heard of a guy names Sigmund Freud.
He is a very famous, and in some circles infamous, psychologist that made psychology as popular as it is in the mainstream today.
Freud’s theories have been widely disputed in certain circles because most of them are very hard to prove.
Nonetheless, not all of Freud’s theories were challenged.
Freud had created this model of the mind so to speak. He separated our minds into 3 sections, the conscious (or ego), precociousness, and the unconscious.
Freud didn’t stop there… He went and broke these down even further. Freud’s work states that the unconscious represents about 30-40% of your brain capacity, the subconscious represents about 50-60% of your brain capacity, and the conscious only represents about 10% of your brain capacity.
Let’s break this down, shall we…
The Conscious Mind:
Many say that the conscious mind is you being aware at any particular point and time in your awakened state.
This part of our minds is responsible for all our voluntary actions and thinking processes.
Even what you are thinking about right now. Even reading the words of this post.
The conscious mind is what we are aware of and what keeps us aware. If you are aware of it then this is your conscious mind at work!
We use our conscious minds to think about things, and to be your logical self. It is your communicator with the outside world and inner self.
As well as to read, process words, writing, physical movement, and to make everything make sense. This is your conscious mind at work.
There are 2 powerful functions, that I have found, your conscious can do that the other 2 cannot.
And that is…
- The ability to direct and redirect your focus
- The ability to use your imagination and how to determine things that are not real
The conscious mind is only put to rest when we sleep.
The Subconscious (or Precociousness) Mind:
The subconscious is right below the surface of awareness.
Controlling and directing your subconscious is your key to personal development!
The role of your subconscious mind is to ensure you have access to information and are able to recall things when you need to, at that moment. Such as memories, your beliefs and values, and even your sensations.
For example, you use your subconscious mind to receive stimuli about things going on and perceive the feelings resulting from it. For example, it is the subconscious mind which lets your finger know where to go when typing the message.
How does the subconscious mind let your finger know where to go? This comes from extensive training, which in this case is the intensive use of your phone to type a message resulting in your subconscious being wired to know where each letter of the alphabet lies on the keypad.
The subconscious mind is seldom put to rest and is functioning even as we sleep, resulting in dreams and visions.
Also, the subconscious is in constant contact with your unconscious mind. One of the great things about the subconscious mind is that it obeys your orders. This is what we need to take advantage of in order to grow.
By doing this, you are no longer at its mercy. You do not need to follow your subconscious blindly… The subconscious will deliver the feelings and emotions you emit on a continuous basis. So make sure to keep an eye on what you are feeling throughout your day.
The Unconscious Mind:
Some theorist says the unconscious mind is meant to preserve the body. So in other terms, the main objective is the preservation of the of your physical body.
So what this means is your unconscious mind is what’s running your body. Your breathing, your heart rate, your immune system, and more… There are some researchers who believe that the unconscious is the blueprint of your body.
When we are talking about the unconscious mind, you have to remember that your subconscious is a very tricky little beast.
You have to remember that the unconscious needs your VERY clear instructions. It will take everything you say and think literally… So for an example, if you say “This job is a pain in the a**”, your unconscious will then turn around and figure out a way to make your a** hurt at work 🙂
I always believe and tell others to remember that most people are products of their environment growing up. So don’t judge someone else’s actions based on your own thoughts and morals. What I mean by this is that the unconscious mind is where your morality is stored.
For example, if your parents taught you at a young age that “Fords are horrible cars”, (remember the Found On Road Dead joke?) lol… Well your unconscious mind, even as you get older, will respond to this teaching from your parents. Even though your conscious mind (you), may have rejected it.
How All 3 Work Together...
The conscious mind is who you are. It is the part of your mind that most people associate you with.
However, it’s not where all the good stuff happens.
Now let’s try to make this a little easier to understand, try to think of your conscious mind as being the captain. Standing there, yelling out orders to the crewman.
However, in reality, it’s the crewman deep down in the engine room, way below deck (your subconscious and even deeper unconscious), that actually will end carrying out the orders from your conscious mind.
So in other words, the captain (your conscious mind), may be in charge and giving the orders, but in all reality, it’s the crewman below deck that actually drives and guides your ship.
But remember, all the decisions being made by the crewman below deck, are based on your upbringing, or what your parents had taught you throughout the years. Whether you think it’s right or not.
Your unconscious mind is always in contact with the conscious mind via the subconscious. This constant contact is what gives us meaning behind the interactions within your world filtered by your habits and beliefs.
It can communicate through dreams, emotions, feelings, your imagination, and others…
Hope I didn’t confuse you too much… Now, after reading through all that, how would you react if you were told you can reprogram your mind to react differently to chronic pain as we normally do?
Believe it or not, this is possible and only sensible in a way that pain is not physical. It is what our subconscious makes us feel it is.
Sounds absurd? Read on.
Mindfulness And How To Achieve It
Mindfulness is the process of being aware of the stimuli and response your body generates via the brain. It is the first step in getting to know your subconscious mind.
Chronic pain management with mindfulness may look like a difficult task to explore. But, all it involves is practice and awareness.
Mindfulness can be achieved by taking your mind off the chronic pain (if it exists) and focuses it on the small stimuli in your brain that signals pain.
This area of your brain sends a signal through your body to remind it of its existence. The stimuli can be its contact with a certain thing or an irregular movement which results in the mind resisting the activity by sending signals of pain.
The goal here is to try and retrain your brain. When your brain sends that pain signal, we want to block this by being aware of the pain and re-targeting it.
Achieving Mindfulness, Step By Step
You can do this easily at home. It can be used with any kind of pain or stress you’re in by following these simple steps and practicing chronic pain management with mindfulness:
⇒⇒ Observe the chronic pain. Pay attention! ⇐⇐
Make accurate assumptions about what causes it to be so excruciating or painful. This could be due to a movement, a touch, the temperature or a thought.
⇒⇒ Be sure of the stimuli! ⇐⇐
You have to experience it all together and try bringing it up again in order to verify your assumption of the cause.
Once you have figured this out, think about all the ways that same stimuli bring about a positive change. For instance, the thought could be causing pain but in your mind, you can also bring up a happier vision.
Therefore, lowering stress and in return lowering your pain.
⇒⇒ Re-target your mind! ⇐⇐
You must do this to a positive state, redirecting the pain. Focus on the good results of the stimuli. The focus should be so strong that you momentarily forget about the pain you are in.
⇒⇒ Practice with the same stimuli! ⇐⇐
And make sure to consider any kind of pain to be the remains of your already wired brain trying to resist change.
⇒⇒ Where’s the pain?! ⇐⇐
This process will require a lot of practice and letting your mind process all this before it gets accepted by your newly wired mind.
But, you can feel the change in the very first attempt. Try it.
The constant focus and awareness will then lead to another stage, called meditation.
Meditation And Chronic Pain
Once you successfully start controlling your mind to feel what you want it to and focus its energy on what you want it to, this is called meditation.
However, there are no steps to be followed for meditating that is set in stone. Art depends on a person’s interest and condition.
Across the internet, you will come across many meditation techniques for pain management. Most claim to educate you on how to cure chronic pain with meditation.
Meditating requires nothing but solace and undisturbed peace of mind. This then enables a person to deal with chronic pain as a feeling and not an obstacle.
The technique has been proven to be better than painkillers and biotic treatments for pain.
Benefits of meditation:
Before learning about how to cure chronic pain with meditation, let’s take a look at its benefits.
The amount of meditation required depends upon the amount of pain experienced.
The effects are everlasting because your brain has been rewired along the way.
Meditation is actually healing, as compared to medicines which are sometimes no more than a ‘placebo’.
Doesn’t require scheduling regular visits to a doctor or overdosing on medicines. The simple rule is: the more you feel, the more you think.
My Conclusion To The Benefits Of Meditation And Chronic Pain:
So, what do you think of all this? It’s not easy to comprehend for some people. The mind is a tricky thing.
We just touched here on the conscious, subconscious, and the unconscious parts of the mind. The reality of it is though, is that we really have just begun the studies of the brain and mind. Our technology is advancing enough that new tests are being done probably as we speak.
I have incorporated both complementary and alternative therapies into my daily pain routine that I have set up with my doctor. And I can’t believe the positive changes that are happening in my own life.
Meditation for chronic pain is where it’s at. I will be writing more on this subject because I believe it so much. When it comes to meditation to help with your pain, it’s all a state of mind.
Do you sit there and dwell on that stabbing pain you constantly have in your back? Or maybe it’s a burning aching, annoying pain in your neck that you can’t seem to get rid of.
Do you tend to focus on it? Or do you try to do other things and forget about it?
When you try and forget about it, does it seem better? Does the depression that comes along with that pain go away for a little as well? I know for me it does…
This is where meditation can come into play for you. Meditation can help you get past the dwelling part on your pain. It can help you curve your thinking and retrain your brain so that the focus is on positive stimuli instead of the nagging negative stimuli, (your pain).
I really hope this helps you! You do not have to live a depressed and down life due to your pain. I’m not saying it’s easy… I’m just saying it’s possible.
Keep moving forward 🙂
What do you think about Mindful Meditation helping with Chronic Pain? Are you a believer in the practice or a skeptic? I would love to hear any and all of your thoughts!
Thank you for visiting. I post consistently, please sign up for my newsletter for more!!
Do you have questions? How about a topic you would like me to provide more information on?? Please, do not hesitate to contact me! I’m sure if you’re asking about it others are looking for the information as well 🙂
Sharing is Caring!!
Please share this information! There may be someone else out there that could benefit from this information just as you have today 🙂
“The conscious mind determines the actions, the unconscious mind determines the reactions; and the reactions are just as important as the actions.”
~E. Stanley Jones