I was reminded of this when I had a tooth infection resulting in one of the worst pains anyone can experience – toothache! For those of you who have experienced this you will know what I’m talking about.
During this constant, nagging, throbbing pain, I tried SO hard to focus on something other than the pain, but it was impossible!
I was paralysed with pain, focusing on that one thing, almost unable to think about anything else, let alone do anything else, only wanting to go into a quiet room and feel sorry for myself. And in a way, that’s what I did, but only for a short while.
I realised hiding away, doing nothing, and focusing on the pain wasn’t going to make it any better. I drew upon my coaching skills to think positively and practically about how I could help my situation.
I started planning my day. I went for a walk knowing that fresh air would take my mind off the pain, and managed to tackle some small jobs at home.
I also had to deal with my constant negative thoughts, what if my tooth is compromised, thinking about the worst-case scenario.
I forced myself to think positively, e.g. thank goodness nowadays we have pain-killers and anti-biotics; thank goodness, we have access to help, my dentist, who I knew would help me by fixing the situation. Yes, it was going to cost me money but I needed the pain to go away and the problem to be solved.
What did I learn from this experience?
- Even when the pain is unbearable, constantly focusing on this doesn’t make it go away, just like a worry really!
- Focusing on something constructive and positive gave me a distraction and helped me get through the day feeling I was at least achieving something, if only a little
- Seeking help early on was imperative and using a specialist to help me make the right decision as quickly as possible so I could get on with the important things I needed to do