Brain science has discovered the root of chronic pain – IN THE BRAIN! How we frame situations is responsible for emotional health. Each person can determine whether they are happy or miserable! This article provides examples of how framing destroys happiness, and how to re-frame destructive language to that which creates happiness and joy.
There is a single word we can – and often do – use to make ourselves miserable. This word makes one unhappy with a life, a spouse, a job, a daily routine – in fact, with everything it touches. If we are determined to be miserable all the days of our lives, we can sprinkle this word liberally in all our thoughts, plans, and reactions!
The powerful word to destroy our happiness? SHOULD.
In 12-step programs, This is called it “Should-y thinking”. SHOULD acts as instant short hand to reject everything in life, to judge life lacking and insufficient. The following chart gives some examples of how it does its magic:
SHOULD works to instantly rob every victory of sweetness, to sour every moment. Entire books have been written on the power of gratitude, but they could all be summed up as “Stop SHOULDING on yourself”!
One woman was determined to change her spoken words to support a joy-filled life. She adopted “Cancel” as the cue that should-y thinking was present. If an inadvertent SHOULD slithered into her speech, she would instantly exclaim “Cancel! Cancel!” And express her gratitude for some aspect of the situation. See how this approach can change a day, an experience, a life:
Should-y thinking has great power to destroy. Look back on every moment of disappointment, despair, pain and anger – and find the “should-y” thinking at the root. Pollyanna had a point – her elimination of “should” made a life of joy and grace possible.
Current research on chronic pain shows that pain originates in the brain, and must be controlled from there if there is to be relief. Therefore, the current treatment is to teach that “what you resist persists” and that pain can be reduced and borne only by rejecting should-y thinking, and learning to work with the pain, rather than engaging in a constant war with the body and brain! All those old sayings in 12-step programs are now being proved by scientific brain scans and experimentation!
Science now says you can put the opioids down and go back to the mindfulness meditation classes - and be happy!
Seven Things You Should Know About Pain Science by Todd Hargrove https://www.bettermovement.org/blog/2010/seven-things-you-should-know-about-pain-science
Translational Pain Research: From Mouse to Man. Kruger L, Light AR, editors. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2010.
Tess Pender is an ordained Interfaith Minister, active in 12-step programs for over thirty years. Her spiritual practice began with Native American Sweat Lodges, and continued with a series of Vision Quests. She led a Teen Spiritual Education Program, and regularly teaches classes on accessing intuition. She practices Earth-Centered
Spirituality. She can be reached on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Rev-Tess-Interfaith-Minister-1333335763419...