EPISODE 22: Feeling pain helps you overcome pornographyFeb 17, 2020
Podcast - pain, process it so it doesn’t turn into buffering
· We’ve talked about life being 50/50
· Episode 12
· unhappiness is half of life
· I’m going to talk about pain – really, all negative emotions, lonliness, sadness, tired, upset, whatever you think of as negative emotions
· Pornography users, over eaters, over spenders, video gamers
· We do those things to buffer the feelings
· Lower brain doesn’t understand that momentary dopamine leads to increased pain
· Here’s what happens
o Something happens to trigger the pain
§ – wife goes out for girls night, so you’re lonely
§ – you’re on a business trip, so you feel like you have nothing to do (translated – bored)
§ – something happens at work, so you feel like a failure
§ Your kids behavior is bad, so you feel like a bad mom
o You don’t know why you are feeling this - not because you don’t know what happened, but our minds are pretty good denial machines.
o And we usually have habits that buffer away the moment so we find ourselves removed from the situation before we reflect on what went on.
o Pain runs through your body
o You resist the emotion by using–
§ Excessive spending
§ Social media scrolling
· Using these to avoid feelings creates additional negative emotions
o Pornography – guilt, shame, self-loathing, disconnection from partner
o Food – guilt, shame, self-loathing, overweight,
o Overspending – guilt, shame, financial worry, out of control
o Social media scrolling – disconnected, envy, unconfident, depressed
· All of these tactics create a long-term increase of pain, they don’t help you avoid it.
· We don’t usually think of the long-term consequences of our actions, especially when we feel pain.
· Just like pulling our hand away from a hot stove, we react to pain in a way that provides immediate relief -
· I took my youngest two to get vaccinated and they screamed and fussed and cried because they knew that getting a shot was going to hurt.
· What they didn’t think about and what they don’t have the capacity to understand yet that adults do is that momentary pain will greatly decrease the likelihood that they will get polio or measles or some other disease with long lasting effects.
· Now that is physical
· But our brains don’t easily distinguish between physical pain and emotional pain.
· When we feel emotional pain our lower brain wants to avoid it just as much as it does physical pain.
· We don’t usually choose to feel pain.
· choose to avoid pain in the moment and magnify it long run.
· Overeaters see this in their physical weight.
· Pornography users see this in their self-confidence and in their relationships with their spouses.
· When we scroll social media to excess we see this in greater depression rates and lower life satisfaction.
· You can avoid the pain in the moment with a quick hit of dopamine, but that doesn’t remove the underlying issue
· And more often than not, it magnifies negativity in your life
· So, what to do about that.
· Here are 4 things you can do to keep your negative feelings from magnifying your pain.
· 1 – do a thought download when you start to feel pain
o Get it out on paper.
o You may not be able to do this all the time, but try it.
o You’ll begin to see the thoughts generating your pain.
o The more you practice this, the more likely you are to succeed at feeling your feelings rather than doubling down on them through buffering
· 2 – own your pain
o Understand and believe that your pain comes from your thoughts
o Believe that your pain is yours and not because of someone or something else.
· 3 – ask yourself questions
o Is this thought serving me?
o How can this pain help me?
· 4 – invite yourself to let go of the thought
o If the thought that is causing you pain is not serving you, let it go.
o You may want to keep certain thoughts because that pain is useful or meaningful in some way.
· More than anything, feeling your pain in the moment rather than buffering it away with food, pornography, video games, social media or whatever it is that you use will make your life more full and allow you to enjoy the positive 50 percent of life more fully.
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