Pain as a Motivator

Life is full of pains. From the earliest moments when we are hungry or wet.

When we’re disappointed and in grief, it hurts. Painful moments are thought to bring out our best qualities. Is that a true thought?

It is believed the ability to calmly plan a funeral for a relative who passed away suddenly is a great quality. But is it?

That is not what pain processing is about.

Yes, you will learn in this Empowered Self Healing blog not to overwhelm yourself but deal with emotional pain slowly. And you will understand the important differences between physical and emotional pain.

But grief is a pain which avoided only makes it deeper. When motivated by grief to cry, cry.  

Motivation has to do with your mental state, your emotional state but ultimately has to do with your physical state. Because pain is believed to be so volatile, pain isn’t often used as a motivational tool. However, physical pain is a signal to motivate action. Click To Tweet

Taking your hand off the stove and leaving an area on fire, have keep us safe for millions of years. 

But pain is more than physical. The pain vs. pleasure principle is a huge driver in our decision making. We look to avoid pain or gain pleasure. Research proves avoiding pain is a much stronger influencer on people than gaining pleasure in most cases. Click To TweetKnowing this fact of human behavior makes you better equipped to use pain as a motivational tool.

Keeping the negative possibilities at hand can be just the right thing to push you forward. Click To TweetThere are many things that motivate us in life. Moving away from pain is a huge one.

We cannot just wait and hope for things to get better. If we want to move forward with our lives, we need to at least try to make progress. How do we get out of that slump, though, when we lose out on our dream job in the last round of interviews? Or if we go through a breakup?

LANDSTUHL, Germany (Oct. 16, 2008) Physical therapist Lt. Cmdr. Mitchel Ideue, Officer in Charge of Inpatient Services at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, in Landstuhl, Germany, gives Army Sgt. Charlie McCall a physical therapy treatment. (U.S. Army photo by Michelle Barrera)

Fear is a primal instinct that serves us as it did our cave-dwelling ancestors.  It keeps us alive because if we survive a bad experience, we never forget how to avoid that in the future.  Our most vivid memories are born out of trauma and fear. A host of chemicals etches them into our brains.

Nothing makes us more uncomfortable than fear. And we have so many: fear of pain, disease, injury, failure, not being accepted, missing an opportunity, and being scammed to name a few. Fear invokes the complex flight or fight or freeze or fawn syndrome; our first reaction can be to flee back to our comfort zone.  

Ad men use pain and fear as a motivator as often as they can.  They present scenarios that will invoke our sense of fear.  

Then we are shown a solution, a way to be more comfortable that entails using their product or service.  Fear is used to sell virtually everything.  As a result, we purchase all sorts of things that a generation ago were considered unnecessary: antibacterial soap, security systems, huge houses, special creams and lotions… the list goes on and on.

When a person fears their pain and feels he or she cannot affect their pain level, and that fear often creates an ever-tightening cycle in which the fear of the pain causes the body to clench. Click To Tweet

Clenching makes the body feel more pain, more pain convinces the person that the pain is indeed to be feared, fear clenches the body, more pain results, etc.






The Pain Processing Practice used by Empowered Self Healing is intended to gently counteract the pain and fear cycles. By providing soothing sensory experiences while in the midst of suffering, the body and mind learn the discomfort is not all-powerful.

All while remembering to use the pain signal as a motivator. If your feet are cold put on socks without holes whenever possible and step away from the fire.

To learn more about Pain as Motivation and the Principles of the Pain Processing Practice read



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