Focusing Tip #752 – My traumatic hospital stay – pain

Focusing Tip #752 – My traumatic hospital stay – pain
May 12, 2021 Ann Weiser Cornell
Pain Trauma Focusing Tip

Focusing Tip #752 – “My traumatic hospital stay…”

Can sensitive and empathic awareness help with the physical pain of activation? Read on…


A Reader writes:

Recently I had to stay in the hospital and it was very traumatic. It also triggered trauma from earlier in my life.

Now, even though I am out of the hospital, I feel activation in my nervous system and body most of the time. It’s unpleasant and can be quite painful and I’m not sure what I can do with it… or if Focusing can help.

Dear Reader:

I’m so sorry you’re having to go through that. At least you’re aware… and believe me, that’s not nothing!

Your body is on high alert. It’s doing what it can to help you and save you. It’s important to remember that nothing in you is trying to hurt you… even though it hurts.

Because this is such a physical experience for you, I’m going to give you the same recommendation that I give for physical pain.

Yes, it is possible to be with physical pain in a Focusing way… and it can make a big difference!

With physical pain, whether chronic or acute, there are two moves, both important.

One is to acknowledge, with empathy, all the parts of you that are reacting to it. For example: “Something in me is worried this will never get better… and I’m gently letting it know I hear it.”

And then there’s the pain itself. To start with, you might let go of the word “pain” and instead call it a “sensation.” This is so you can sense it directly, without any labels. Take some time to sense precisely what it feels like… and to allow fresh metaphors to come. Perhaps it feels like fire along your veins… or like a jackhammer in your head.

Keep offering the descriptions back to it, and sensing more and more precisely. Giving this kind of attention may even make it seem worse at first… because you are paying such full attention… but no, you aren’t making it worse.

This process, done with injuries, helps them to heal faster. And what you have is in fact a kind of injury. Our bodies know how to heal from injury… and awareness without agenda is the great environment of healing.

By the way, you might be interested in my on-demand course on Focusing with physical pain: The Rock and the Hard Place.

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