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Using Pain to Win Your Health Game

 

We all can recall times when we played the Hot and Cold game in some form in our childhood. You know, it was the game where you relied on your friends to scream out, “You’re getting hotter” to help guide you towards the target or “You’re getting colder” when you were headed in the wrong direction. 

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The “Hot and Cold” game can transform your approach to dealing with pain

For me, it was the go-to game to play at birthday parties and only recently did I understand the reason why…

It was because everyone won playing this game!

When you think about it, it makes perfect sense that you will find the target every time you play the “hot and cold” game. If you are given positive feedback when heading in the right direction and are also given feedback when you were heading in the wrong direction, chances are that you are pretty much guaranteed to find it.

How successful would you be in this game if you became selective in the feedback that you listened to? How effective would you be in finding your target if you only listened to the “Hotter” feedback and the others weren’t allowed to mention when you were getting “Colder”?

Interestingly, this exactly how adults listen to the feedback of pleasure and pain. Adults have abandoned the successful winning formula we used as children and become more judgemental and selective in the feedback that we listen to.

Most of you listen to and respond to “Hot” feelings of pleasure but you don’t want to hear any “Cold” feelings of pain?

Most pain, whether it be physical or emotional is regarded as bad, something to avoid, suppress or numb ourselves to. In fact, adults are all too willing to go to extreme lengths (like drugs, alcohol, tobacco, overeating junk foods) to numb or distract themselves from receiving “Cold” feedback.

In reality, this robs you of half of the feedback you receive.

If you are missing half of the feedback from your body, how do you know if your health is heading in the right or wrong direction?

Just as young children use both the Hot AND Cold feedback as a compass to direct them to the hidden prize, adults can use the feelings of pleasure AND pain as a compass for physical and emotional health.

“Hot” feelings of pleasure give you feedback to keep going in the same direction and keep interpreting life around you from your current perspective. “Colder” feelings (physical or emotional pain) give you feedback to stop some of your unhealthy habits and change the direction of your current perspective.

What does all this mean?

If you want to win the game of health and happiness you need to be more like a child.

Treat life more like a game of Hot and Cold. Embrace both pleasure AND pain, physical and emotional, since they are both perfectly healthy and natural forms of feedback.

Used correctly, pleasure and pain can act as your personal compass to finding health and happiness in your daily life… a winning result to any game.

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