4 Strategies To Heal From Pain or Trauma | THE SMRT LIST

4 Strategies To Heal From Pain or Trauma

When my body shut down from a car accident, chronic stress, trauma from leaving a toxic relationship, and burnout from starting a couple of online businesses at the same time, I decided to hold myself accountable.

How I Healed From Chronic Pain & Trauma

When my body and mind shut down from stress, trauma, and burnout, I took accountability and decided I was going to heal myself:

  • Walked the walk (not just talk the talk).
  • Ran toward the feelings I didn’t want to feel.
  • Didn’t drag a partner to project my traumas onto.
  • Removed all distractions. Did it myself so I didn’t become codependent.
  • Maintained an active social life for my sanity but was strict with the alcohol and vices.
  • When people triggered me, I got curious and ran towards it rather than get mad or hold grudges.
  • Talked to a therapist regularly.
  • Exercised and ate nutritious foods every day. My routine grounds me so I never sacrificed it.
  • Journaled and meditation became a regular practice.
  • Channeled all my focus into my businesses and health.

Because of that, I learned how to:

  • Detach from outcomes.
  • Be okay with being alone.
  • Switch emotional states on the fly.
  • Empowered my resilience even more.
  • Everything I want is literally falling into my lap.

Life feels effortless when you live in alignment with your vision— in flow.

Hard Truths You Need To Hear:

These were things I reminded myself of every single day:

  • Stop talking and start doing.
  • No one is coming to save you.
  • You’re not the only one suffering.
  • You’re probably too easy on yourself.
  • If you’re having a hard time, it’s your fault.
  • Why aren’t you taking accountability to build up your mental resilience?

If you tend to play victim— don’t worry, you’re only a snowflake because society breeds us to be weak and complacent.

We bitch and complain about everything. Quitting when things get hard and using excuses such as “Quiet Quitting” when we are really just weak and lazy.

Yes, safety is extremely important for our nervous system and we 100% have to feel all our negative emotions— but for how long? Not that long. ✋🏼

I know people who are trying to heal but doing the same thing they are doing for over 20 years, and people are still angry at something that happened to them a decade ago. They project it onto everyone around them, always gravitating to those who unconsciously encourage them with actions.

We let the masses persuade us that it’s okay to stay in our comfort zone, “take your time” and “do you”— because that’s what they are wired to do. Remember, mediocrity breeds mediocrity.

When is it time to finally step out of that dreadful comfort zone and face your fears head-on?

It’s like the overbearing parent who never lets their child face danger or see violence “because it’s scary”— shielding them from the harsh reality of life. Once faced with reality, they have zero strategies to defend themselves.

Possible Solution: Use Knowledge As Motivation

How do you learn? I learn by LEARNING + ACTION.

  • Observe mistakes other people make. I would never want to ruin my own future so I do my best to not do what they do. How? 👉🏼
  • Getting to the root cause and learning about the problem at hand. Eg. when I wanted to lose weight, I read the science of how and took action. When my body shut down two years ago, I read and listened to all the science of trauma, and healing, and became a holistic nutritionist and wellness coach, to learn the framework to heal myself.

I poured a lot of time, money, and effort into this as an investment in myself.

When you take action and do things for yourself, intrinsically, it motivates you to stay on track. Don’t just read books and listen to podcasts, do something physical.

Nervous System | Strategies To Heal From Pain or Trauma | THE SMRT LIST
Your Nervous System Explained

An Insight: Pain Is An Illusion

A Distraction Of Your Unconscious Rage

Last month, I read The Mind Body Prescription. Similar to The Body Keeps Score and The Way Out, Dr. Sarno’s work is exciting and revolutionary, one of the least-known areas of medicine. These books break down the mind and body connection.

Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS) is the theory that your mind creates pain symptoms to aid in the repression of subconscious thoughts and feelings— the effect of repressed unconscious rage.

Your realm of emotions is compromised of two minds: the conscious and the unconscious.

  • The Conscious Mind aka The Adult helps us observe, think, remember, see, feel, hear, touch, and rationalize.
  • The Unconscious Mind aka The Child is purely narcissistic and completely irrational. It holds onto grudges and throws tantrums. It is perpetually angry and powerful. It is weak.

Your mind creates your thoughts creates your emotions create symptoms in your body.

Nervous System | Strategies To Heal From Pain or Trauma | THE SMRT LIST

Takeaways From The Mind Body Presciptions:

  • Our brain is designed to shield us from external and internal danger: including our emotions.
  • Your brain protects you from painful emotions by creating pain or illness somewhere else in your body to prevent it from surfacing in your subconscious. (eg. chronic bad pain, digestive issues, that naggy shoulder pain, etc).
  • Pain and emotional states are constructs of the brain for avoidance.
  • That “distraction” is the same as “procrastination”.
  • Your brain does this by sending a signal to deprive oxygen to a certain part of your body, reducing blood flow and creating pain or disease in the affected area. The pain is real but serves as a distraction from your subconscious rage.
  • People most susceptible are the people pleasers, the nice guys— who are unknowingly building up underlying rage by ignoring their own needs.
  • In many cases, people who have evasive treatments such as surgery to fix their symptoms only later find out their brain has moved that symptom to another part of their body (eg. surgery to resolve shoulder pain suddenly creates chronic IBS).
  • Treatment usually involves therapy, knowledge, insight, and results rather than medication, surgeries, and physical therapy.
  • By changing the attention from the body to the psyche, you render the pain useless and take away its purpose, and reveal what it’s trying to hide.
  • The catch is that you must wholely embody these theories because treatments are largely placebo. But the placebo is real! You can learn more by reading, Joe Dispenza’s You Are The Placebo.
💡 The following content presented here is for informational purposes only and not medical advice. Please use common sense and consult with your physician to make sure proper tests are done to rule out other causes of your condition other than TMS. However, do get multiple opinions.
Nervous System | Strategies To Heal From Pain or Trauma | THE SMRT LIST
How To Heal Your Nervous System

Four Strategies to Heal Your Nervous System From Pain & Trauma

Knowing the mind learns by repetition, I’ve always been a fan of using mindset shifts to heal and transform.

Mantras are a powerful tool because since your brain is listening to everything you say and think, you can repeat mantras over and over to yourself, and even if you didn’t have full confidence in the beginning, it will eventually ”click” which leads to ACTION.

Mindset Shift #1: Set Your Environment Up For Success

This is the single biggest problem that keeps people stuck.

Just like everything in nature, everything tends to sync up.

You are average in your environment.

If you want to be different, get out of your bubble.

No one wants to talk about it but unhealthy people hang out with unhealthy people. Druggies stick together. The homeless commune. Social groups end up exhibiting the same behaviors in the way they dress, way they act, things they do, and how they think.

This goes for all groups. Athletes, high achievers, and peak performers want to stick to their own bubble but that’s also dangerous because you forget about the harsh reality and if you’re not well-rounded, you’ll end up with an inflated ego.

How to Set Your Environment Up For Success:

  • Purge anything toxic (including people who suck up to you, people who talk or hold grudges for no reason, useless content, and unhealthy vices).
  • Surround yourself with people who have different views and opinions
  • Surround yourself with people who call you out on your BS. Real friends want you to grow. People who don’t care about you let you make a fool out of yourself for years or decades, letting you repeat the same mistake over and over.

A good formula for your main tribe:

  • 80% equal or above you. People who are smarter, stronger, or have skills and traits that you want. Bonus if they intimidate you!
  • 20% not at your level, but striving to do better (give this group a chance but also learn when to cut ties if no progress has been made over a certain amount of time). This will fulfill our basic need to help others— hopefully, you can inspire these friends to reach their fullest potential.

Mindset Shift #2: Run Towards Your Fears

The faster you face something, the faster you level up.

An analogy I like to use is people who don’t go to the gym consistently. They haven’t gone for a week or two, so they tell themselves to hold back or take it easy— so they end up going twice a month lifting 5lb dumbbells and walking on the treadmill for 10 minutes. Notice the cycle?

When I’m injured or can’t work out for whatever reason, I would give it MY ALL the first day back (of course, I’m smart enough to know myself to not get injured). It’s mentally painful AF but I’m literally back at my A-game in a week or two.

Problem: Most people are too scared to deal with mental pain.

I spent the last decade running towards “hard” on my bicycle and at the gym. Your mind doesn’t see what you see externally but it remembers feelings. It was trained to deal with this.

Fear is a great motivator and teacher. I’m driven by fear and learn by experience— for example, I watched people get stuck in their traumas and hold grudges for years— even decades.

I promised I would never let that happen to me.

I wasn’t going to purposely fuck up my own life like I watched others do.

“NO ONE IS COMING GOING TO SAVE ME.”

I told myself that every single day.

Mindset Shift #3: Biology Overhaul

Let’s face it, most people are lazy— to make it nicer, we’ll just say “their brains are not wired for hard work”. The one mistake I see in people who are stuck in healing mode is that think they’re doing all the right things:

  • reading books
  • listening to podcasts
  • talking to friends
  • seeing a therapist

But to fully heal from anything, you need a complete nervous system reset which takes physical work and commitment. Your nervous system regulates your stress response and your body may think it’s been running from the lion for years— imagine that! You are locked in a chronic state of fight-or-flight. I’m sure you can grasp what that will do to your body over time as it erodes from an invisible lion that’s been chasing you for years.

Your nervous system is your body’s command center which regulates daily activities such as:

  • basic processes: breathing, seeing, moving
  • complex processes: thinking, reading, processing emotions
  • detecting threats: real or imaginary

To bring your nervous system down to rest-or-digest mode where your body heals and repairs itself, do these daily:

  • Daily exercise. Exercise produces BDNF aka fertilizer for your brain, which repairs, protects, and creates new connections in your brain. It’s a natural antidepressant meaning you’re going to be in a better mood, and have happier thoughts, and elevated emotions.
  • Nutrient-dense foods. Food has the power to change genetic expression. We are literally built from what we eat. This is common sense that no one seems to grasp.
  • Good quality sleep. You need a strong brain to have strong thoughts and sleep is when your brain is recovering.
  • Mindful practices such as meditation and breathwork are proven to calm your vagus nerve and bring your nervous system back to a rest-and-digest state.
  • Cold showers and saunas are shown to restore balance and lower inflammation.
  • See a therapist for guidance. Try somatic therapies but remember, most of the healing is done by yourself.

Mindset Shift #4: Understand Healing Takes Time

Our bodies are resilient and it may take years for you to heal your mind, body, AND soul but here are some tips I used to make the process actually enjoyable.

  • Take it one day at a time.
  • Use this mantra: “Trust The Process”.
  • When times get hard or you want to quit, take a breath.
  • Surround yourself with friends and loved ones because community is everything.
  • But be careful to not use them to distract yourself from the pain or being alone which you need to endure to fully heal.
  • Try to make the most of your journey by reminding yourself that you need challenges to grow.

I understood what it took to heal after a decade of studying the mind + body. I gave myself 2 years to heal. I did it in less than 1.5 years. I know, healing is a lifelong journey and I still have lots of WORK to do— but I considered myself pretty damn healed from what happened to my mind and body in August 2020.

I don’t regret any part of my journey because I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t go through physical and mental pain and suffering.

Everything that happens to you is a gift and the outcome is what you make of it.

Just try not to keep yourself stuck in it forever because every moment you spend in low-frequency vibes, you will never get back. Time is the most precious currency you have.

TD;LR

  • If you want to heal, you have to take accountability.
  • No one is coming to save you but yourself.
  • Some types of physical pain are an illusion created by your brain to distract you from the emotional pain buried in your unconscious.
  • Strategy #1: Set your environment up for success.
  • Strategy #2: Run toward your fears.
  • How much time are you going to waste living in pain?
  • While you may never heal physically, you can heal emotionally to make your life easier.
kate

kate

Serial entrepreneur + creative strategist + writer + columnist + athlete + certified life + wellness coach + holistic nutritionist. INTJ. Contrarian thinker. Love to be intellectually stimulated. READ MY STORY →

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