When we talk about 'healing', we can talk about healing from a cut, a muscle strain or a broken bone. Often, however, we are addressing either physical long-term conditions (persistent pain for more than 3 months) or emotional healing that is rooted in our internal processes of thoughts and feelings but can sometimes manifest through physical symptoms.
Whether is physical or emotional, healing is a process that reduces constrictions in our body-mind system and promotes expansion and flow. We are all wired for authentic self-expression through our bodies and minds and connecting back to our healthy state by overcoming barriers and stagnation, is what we call healing process.
Healing, however, is not a linear process, but rather, more of an upward spiral. Not many things in Nature are linear... think of rivers winding and branches bending... We process things cyclically and each time it comes around, we peel back another layer and get closer to root cause of our dis-ease.
The process of healing is one that can feel like a never-ending pendulum between pain and acceptance. Just because you’re doing this work doesn’t mean you’ll never experience a bend in the road. But you always have the power to come back to center and ground yourself and acknowledge that is not 'the end of the road'.
TIPS FOR GROUNDING YOURSELF
Recognise early signs of mental and physical habit relapses and bad coping. Some examples: restlessness, overdoing it, lower mood, fatigue, an unexpected event, a familiar trigger, increase in stress, irritability, sleep deteriorating, putting off things, overconfidence, panicky, body tightening.
Learning your early signs and having an early intervention plan can help you to head off or prevent a flare up! This is the time you want to focus on all your self-care stuff (relaxation, breathing, pleasurable activities). This is usually the time when these things get missed or dropped!
2. Manage and know what to do when you are feeling overwhelmed, you experience a flare up, and negative thoughts about your healing creep in.
Allow yourself to rest (only for a maximum of 2 days)
Then start gently moving again (or stiffness and muscle tension will set in)
Pain medication (increase and/or take medication more regularly for a short time if needed. Always follow medical advice and stay within prescription guidelines.)
Use a hot water bottle or have a warm bath
Relaxation including breathing exercises
Be kind to yourself
Stay calm. I know that's hard to do when the pain significantly increases
Positive self talk and increase "safety" messages like 'It will get better, it did before', 'it's just a bend in the road, not the end of the road' 'my back is strong', 'I am resilient'
Too often, we beat ourselves up for being human, for experiencing human feelings. If you’re holding onto a story that you shouldn’t feel certain feelings, that you should not be ill or in pain, you’re actually leading yourself down a path of even more unnecessary pain. The goal here is not to never feel bad, but to practice honouring and bringing awareness to how you feel and sitting with it a little more each time, to develop inner resilience.
You can help your healing process much more if you learn to be empathetic with yourselves and focus more on self-care instead of self-hate and guilt. Of course, this is much easier said than done, but with time you can learn this. In order to get there you have to work on your acceptance every day by letting go of your expectations. The less expectations you have, the less disappointment you will feel when certain expectations don't come true. Which is also not an easy process that can happen over night, but also something that will get easier with time, if we work on it.
The healing process will always be full of ups and downs. There will be times where you feel better, and times where you feel worse. But one thing is for sure - after every bad phase there will be a good phase again. After every down comes the up. Everything bad will pass at some point. The only thing you can do in a bad phase is to make the best out of it. Take as much self-care, that you can. Surround yourself with the best people and restorative activities that you can get!