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Why You Shouldn’t Resist Pain And Other Negative Emotions

By Rochi | Psychology

Sep 15

How many of you have tried to push away pain?

I bet you read positivity books and articles and how law of attraction works. All of those articles told you to not think about pain and think “positive” instead.

All of you might’ve tried to avoid actually feeling the pain and forced yourself to resist it instead. But I’m gonna tell you otherwise: Don’t avoid pain.

Go through it. Feel every inch of pain dripping in you. Because, a feeling’s purpose is to be felt. You feel what you feel. There is no reasonable excuse to change how you actually feel.

And, besides, there is no logical reason to resist pain. But I’ve got reasons why you should feel pain (and all other ‘negative’ emotions):

1. Pain Is As Necessary As Joy

You need to experience sadness as much as happiness. Life doesn’t come with all rainbows and sunsets.

You need the rains too.

Just happy days would make life boring.

The pain equation describes suffering as the product of pain and resistance.

Suffering = Pain ÷ Resistance

I was never good at math, but as much as my basics tell me this means:

Suffering× Resistance = Pain

The more you resist, the more your pain multiplies.

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Even if you think you don’t need pain, you cannot deny it. It is as inevitable as joyful days are. Life will give you rough days, no matter how hard you try to escape them.

So, instead just accept it. Accept that you’ll have to face pain. Accept that it’s gonna be a hard time. Rather than questioning why’s this happening to you, handle it.

Whining won’t get you anywhere except in the gutters of even greater sadness. Always be thankful. It could’ve been worse.

Gratitude makes you happy too.

When you accept what you feel instead of changing it, you mentally disconnect from the pain. Remind yourself that pain would come to you, and it’s necessary.

Because without pain, you wouldn’t be as strong as you are now…

2. Pain Makes You Stronger

Think about the hardest time of your life. Or your worst breakup.

You might be getting flashbacks of endless sobbing nights and aching hearts. But now, look a little ahead: Ask yourself what changed in you after that.

You became a lot stronger, didn’t you? You changed into a lot better person than you were before.

Studies have shown that turmoil and trauma could make you not only stronger but more appreciative, compassionate and confident.

Analyze it yourself. You wouldn’t be what you are hadn’t you suffered as much as you have. The greater the suffering, the more the maturity.

A research done in the University of Arizona performed self-experimenting exercises on 210 people, aged 17 to 29, who were experiencing breakups.

Participants discussed their emotional distress of breakup and feelings surrounding it in speaking exercises.

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The results were that participants who emitted their sadness gained a better self-concept and identity of themselves.

Nobody wants pain. But in the end, that’s what makes you a better person.

And, the concept that resisting pain makes it go away is a myth. It’s actually quite the opposite…

3. Resisting Pain Causes More Pain

Pain, cries and sadness are all healthy responses to failure. Yes, healthy.

There is no reason you should force down sweet untrue thoughts down your throat. In fact, that’s gonna harm you instead.

Forcing yourself to stop thinking about something actually makes you think about it even more. Stop being a control freak. Let your heart feels what it feels. Let your mind think what it’s thinking.

Cry like a baby when someone hurts you. Feel the failure exhausting you. Scream the anger punching in your stomach.

The reason why pain is viewed with such negativity is that it is regarded with failure and blurriness of one’s own identity.

But, what you need to realize is: Your pain is not you. Your failure is not you. When you are aware of your pain, you don’t misunderstand it as your identity.

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Eckhart Tolle, in his book, A New Earth, calls something as “pain body” which unconsciously makes a home in you and becomes you.

This leads you to believe your pain is you. What you need to do is identify your pain and be aware of it. Be aware that something’s causing you pain and you separate from it immediately.

If you try to take control on what you feel, you will end up being more sad and painful than you were before.

Sometimes, letting go is the solution.

What you feel is beyond your control. How you respond to it is. You need to suffer to heal.

Don’t welcome pain at your doorstep, but don’t push it away either.

Pain is beautiful. It’s all you have.

Conclusion

While you shouldn’t romanticize pain, you shouldn’t avoid it either. Studies have shown that resisting pain is what actually causes more pain.

And, since pain isn’t avoidable in life, you should try to learn from it instead of running away. Pain is what shapes you into a more emotionally healthier and mature person.

Don’t preach negative emotions but when you feel them, don’t deny it. Trying to escape from something natural is doing you more harm than good.

What was the most painful moment of your life? How did you deal with it?

I’d love to know in the comments below.

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