Your brain has a filter. It filters information received by your subconscious to the conscious part of your brain. This is known as the Reticular Activating System (RAS).
Think about it. Have you ever driven home from somewhere and not remembered all of the drive home? This seems to occur after you’ve been driving for a long time. Say you’ve had your driving license for 20 years. By this time, your subconscious mind knows how to drive as you’ve been driving for so long. You’ve trained that part of the brain to drive and when that happens, you don’t need to be consciously aware of driving. You can get from point A to point B without remembering most of the journey as your subconscious mind is taking you there.
How does this happen?
It happens because your subconscious mind can process 40 million pieces of information per second. Yes, that’s right, 40 million. It’s mind-blowing, isn’t it? There’s not a computer out there that can process that quickly.
Why is this piece of information important?
If you understand how incredible and smart your body is, you can get out of pain quicker. But remember, it hurts to heal. Viruses get worse before it gets better. It’s a roller coaster.
But you are amazing! You are more powerful than your pain.
When you’re in chronic pain, you’re only 3% conscious throughout the course of your day. Normally, people are 7-8% conscious throughout the day, but it’s lower when you’re in chronic pain. This means you’re only processing 40 pieces of information per second … instead of the 40M pieces per second that your body is capable of!
The Reticular Activating System is what filters information from the subconscious mind to the conscious mind. The conscious mind only sees what it needs to see. It’s the Reticular Activating System that decides what your conscious mind needs to see.
And guess what? You can program your Reticular Activating System! Amazing, right? It’s already programmed and you probably aren’t aware of it. This is where rewiring your brain to help you heal pain becomes extremely important.
Let’s keep with the driving theme and talk about another example. You’re on the market for a new car. You choose a make and model that you like and you buy it. Before buying the car, you had seen it on the road here and there but not regularly. Then, after you pick up the car and start driving it, you see the exact same make and model everywhere – not just occasionally, but everywhere!
Why does this happen? It’s your Reticular Activating System. You automatically rewired it when you picked up your new car.
So why am I talking about the Reticular Activating System?
If you train your Reticular Activating System to see the good in your life, then you can control your pain.
Think about it:
- When you focus on good things in your life, you feel better about yourself
- When you feel better about yourself, your pain is not as bad
- When your pain is not as bad, you’re not suffering as much
- When you’re not suffering as much, you’re happier. When you’re happier, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and you can believe that you can get out of pain
- And then you know you’re more powerful than your pain
My advice? Slow down. Slow right down and observe what you see.
Do you only see suffering? Do you only see painful things in life? Do you only see that one make and model of car?
It’s all about being smart. Most people work hard to get out of pain but it’s about working smart.
You’re either thriving or you’re dying. If you’re thriving, you’re living. But if you’re just existing, you’re dying. But if you slow down and observe – you can work out what you need to change. And then change one thing at a time.
How should you start rewiring?
Write down three things that you’re grateful for. Use these as your affirmations. Is it a pet that you can cuddle? Is it the fact that you can have a pleasant shower (after all, there are many people who don’t have access to water)?
This is all about putting yourself first.