August 2


Is Your Ache All In Your Head?

By Sue Ingebretson

August 2, 2010

aches, Exercise, flares, humidity, pain, predictions, Thoughts

While wogging this morning (walking a little/jogging a little), I had a thought. Exercise does that to me. It helps me do a bit of mental cave spelunking.

Today, I thought about pain levels.

It was an unusually humid day for SoCal standards: pitifully blechy outside. And since humidity is a common trigger for increased pain, I thought, “Hmm, I should feel more pain in my joints today.” I began to focus on how my knees felt with each step. I then became aware of my hip joints. I realized that I did feel more pain; I was achy-er than usual.

But wait! Before I noticed the humidity level, was I achy then? Not that I’d noticed. It wasn’t until I had the thought that I should feel achy did I “decide” that I did.

That led me to think about other times I’ve spent in humid climates. For many years, my hubby worked in Hawaii. I went as often as my schedule allowed; it was a fabulous place for me to write. In fact, much of my book, FibroWHYalgia, was written there, as well as many children’s stories. For me, nothing gets the creative juices flowing like ocean breezes and the scent of plumerias. While hubby worked, my job was to write. Great gig if you ask me.

Hawaiian humidity has never bothered me. There’s always a gentle breeze and what’s not to like? As far as I can remember, it has never triggered a flare of any kind. I travel to the Midwest, too. I do notice the humidity there. I feel fatigued, tightness in my neck/shoulders, and a tightness in my chest as if it’s harder to breathe

Of course, it’s not fair to compare a tropical vacation to a family visit (no matter how much you love to see your family). It’s not the same thing, relaxation-wise, and your body knows it. But when it comes to increased pain, why bring it on? Who’s in charge of your expectations, and who gets to write your own predictions?

Pay attention to Prediction Phrases such as, “I always end up in a flare after a visit from my Mother-In-Law,” or “I always get a migraine after shopping at the mall.” If you’re going to take the time to make a prediction, why not something like, “I predict that I’ll get a great night’s sleep after I chaperone the all-day scouting event.”

Your own predictions are yours to dream up. Why not make ‘em good?

I challenge you, write down five positive Prediction Phrases this week, and let me know how they turn out. I love hearing from you!

  1. 1. Going out to the store or other public places will not trigger anxiety, they will be an adventure. Maybe I’ll make a friend or see an old one.
    2. Walking will give me MORE energy not less!
    3. Making a to do list will improve my time management, not overwhelm me.
    I think I will start with 3, and see if I can add to them by week’s end.

  2. This one came to me as I was going to sleep last night. Hope my language doesn’t offend, but it’s what I think, and now have to make an effort not to: “Such a hard day, I probably won’t sleep and boy will I feel like crap in the morning!”. Going to put a post it on the lamp shade next to my bed! Maybe a bright orange or hot pink one…..Gonna get some rest and tomorrow morning I am going to feel great!!!!

  3. Great idea – what we think shapes our lives, so why shouldn’t we shape them the way we want them to be? (Just remember, the universe doesn’t recognize negatives, so if you think something like “I won’t have a bad day today” the only thing the universe will hear is “bad day today” and that’s what it will give you. Always reframe into a positive – “today is going to be a GOOD day.”)

  4. I have read all the Blog Posts, and all of them are insightful and true. But, I like this one the best. It expresses the fact that what you think and say, will control what happens. If I say that “I am tired” then, I will be tried. Our subconscious will obey our every wish. If I focus all my attention on aches and pains it will magnify and intensify the pain until it consumes all of my waking hours. But, we can also use our subconscious mind to our advantage by using positive strong language like: I can do it, or, I feel relaxed and calm and I’m all good, or, I do enjoy this activity. These are just examples of course, but practicing positive strong language will change the way we feel. Excellent topic Sue, keep up the good work.

    The Lupus Phoenix Society

    PS. I’m enjoying your book

    1. Marcus,

      Thanks for the helpful response! It’s very true that our subconscious does obey our conscious wishes. I’d like to learn more about your Lupus Phoenix Society. Be sure to drop a link in your comments so others can check into it!


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