Self-talk and Pain

Have just watched PBS Nova which mentioned that pain is processed in the prefrontal cortex, the thinking part of the brain. And when this is distracted the pain is blanked out, for example, in marathon runners who injure themselves and don’t feel the pain till the end of the race or the soldier in battle. This resonated with me as I am acutely aware that I have to control my self-talk when in pain. I have to watch my narrative to myself. If I keep telling myself the pain is bad, it gets worse, but if I can concentrate on something different, it is less fierce. Easier said than done!

It is true that the emotional state you are in governs the memories you can access. If you are feeling pessimistic, negative memories are easily available, which is why during a marital argument one can only remember the times one’s partner has previously offended and not the many kindnesses of other occasions.

About UntraveledRoads

Fascinated by life, looking for answers to chronic pain and finding unexpected gifts. Interested in people, ideas, healing and humour. I am very happily married with three children and a kitten. As English born immigrants to Canada, we have family spread overseas, a daughter in South Africa and one in England. We also run a charity in South Africa to educate black, rural South African Women. Our first girl from a rural township has just graduated as an accountant from Johannesburg University and got a good job in a bank.
This entry was posted in Brain and Pain, pain - coping techniques, Self-talk, The Emotional Tightrope and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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