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Pain v.s Discomfort

I was having a discussion with a friend of mine about the distinction or lack thereof between pain and discomfort.

 

He suggested that discomfort and pain are synonymous or that PAIN IS A CONTINUUM AND THAT DISCOMFORT IS ANOTHER NAME FOR PAIN ON A LOWER SCALE.

 

Meaning that pain is a level 5-10, and discomfort is 1-4 on a scale of 1-10 intensity gradations.

 

It sounded smart, but it bothered me.

 

Did I know why it bothered me? No

Did I know what the problem was with this intelligent equalization of the terms? No

Was I acting stubborn? Also no.

 

I WAS TRUSTING MY INTUITION.

 

My intuition told me that there was some distinction, and I was having trouble accessing it from my unconscious.

 

I gave it a lot of thought, and I came to an in-depth original perspective on it that I am very proud of, but the specific nuance is not the story I want to tell here.

 

The reason I was so happy with myself was not only because I proved myself to be "right," but was since I proved to myself that MY INTUTIOIN SHOULD LBE TRUSTED EVEN WHEN I CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHAT ITS REASONING IS.

 

Our intuitions are an accumulation of all the wisdom gleaned from our experiences, environment, and education. 

 

It has guided you to the place you are today and should be trusted to guide you. You do not need to consciously hear what it's saying for you to allow it to show you where you need to go or what to do.

 

Let us take the leap of faith to trust our intuition and allow it to guide our decisions since it has earned the right by bringing us to the place that we are today, safe and sound.

 

Part Nine 

Pain and discomfort are opposites.

 

Before we dive into this, let's first explore another perspective.

 

A friend of mine suggested that discomfort and pain are synonymous or that PAIN IS A CONTINUUM AND THAT DISCOMFORT IS ANOTHER NAME FOR PAIN ON A LOWER SCALE.

 

Meaning that pain is a level 5-10, and discomfort is 1-4 on a scale of 1-10 intensity gradations.

 

I can't entirely agree with this contention.

 

In fact, it is the opposite.

 

Let us take a step back to understand what lies behind all senses, stimulations, and emotions we experience.

 

They are all communications, messengers, and emissaries, delivering critical information for us to integrate to help us come to decisions that keep us safe.

 

Pain, fear, shame, discomfort, anger, sadness, pride, and depression are all your buddies and advisers, and you're the CEO who needs to put them all together to figure out how to integrate all of their information best to meet all of your needs.

 

THEY ARE NOT TO BE ELIMINATED, SHAMED, DENIED, OR REPRESSED, BUT TO BE RESPECTED, ACCEPTED, AND INTEGRATED.

 

So how are discomfort and pain good for us? What are they communicating to me?

 

They offer opposite messages.

 

DISCOMFORT TELLS US TO GO BACK TO HOMEOSTASIS, WHICH AHS WORKED WELL FOR OUR SURVIVAL AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY.

 

PAIN TELLS US THAT THE CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS IS NOT MEETING OR VIOLATING YOUR NEEDS AND THEREFORE YOU NEED TO CHANGE SOMETHING TO GO OUT OF THE CURRENT HOMEOSTASIS.

 

Pain tells you to change the status quo discomfort tells you to return to it

Pain says to do something, and discomfort says to stop doing something.

Pain instructs us to start something new, and discomfort instructs us to stop doing something new.

 

Do you see the difference? It's nuanced, but once you see it, they are not only not on a continuum but are often trying to protect you in opposite ways.

 

For example, You are stressed and want to let it out with a nice strenuous workout. Your discomfort will likely tell you to go back to the couch, and your pain will tell you to let out the excess energy. They are both trying to help but with opposite communications.

 

Let's recognize that all of our thoughts, feelings, and senses are all working to help and protect us but often in conflicting ways, and it's our job to respect and integrate all of these dichotomous voices into our decisions by first understanding that they are all on the same team. YOURS.  

Do you see any differences between discomfort and pain? Lmk below