Are you feeling discouraged about your pain? Perhaps you have had it for a very long time and various medical professionals have basically told you, “Deal with it, it could be worse.” Or, “Forget about it, you’re just getting older. Look here, my own knee gives me trouble all the time.” While meaning to be supportive, these types of statements don’t really give you much hope in terms of getting any better.
Feeling hopeless about your situation is a painful place to be in and of itself. To feel trapped, with no exit is basically a prison. This hopeless feeling can keep you from ever resolving your pain. The following exercise can help you start to turn this feeling around.
Exercise for Releasing Hopelessness
A common way out of hopelessness is through improving breathing and relaxing the chest. Hopelessness can manifest as bands of tension in the ribcage, lungs and heart. This exercise will help you soften these bands of tension.
1. Sit in a comfortable chair. Scoot back so your entire back feels comfortably supported by the back of the chair. Rest your hands in your lap.
2. Scan your body from head to toe for up to a minute. Notice what sensations you notice in your head, shoulders, back, hips and feet. Try not to judge what you notice, simply feel whatever sensations enter your awareness.
3. Slowly start to fall into a mild slump and pause for a few moments. Make it comfortable. Notice how it feels to be in a slump. If you have any judgments come up about being in this position, notice and let them be.
4. Slowly start to unfurl out of the slump to a neutral upright position. Notice how this feels. Repeat Steps 3 & 4.
5. Slowly start to straighten your entire spine, the opposite movement of the slump. Notice what sensations you notice.
6. Taking 5-10 seconds to between the the curled forward position and the slightly arched back position. Cycle between these positions 2-3 times. What do you notice now?
The good news is that most pain is due to muscular tension. Which means you can control it. If you can move your eyes around to the four corners of your screen as you read this, there is a good chance you can change your pain issue.
There are of course cases where your pain isn’t as simple as just muscular tension. From my perspective, the root cause was muscular tension but now it has manifested as something more complicated. Perhaps something like an auto-immune condition or spinal stenosis. In those cases, dealing with the muscular tension issue is a very good thing to do as it will help to stop adding more fuel to the fire. Will you reverse your condition? Perhaps. Will you improve your pain and sense of well-being if you practice tension-releasing exercises regularly? Very, very likely.