Pain is a Feeling . . . Suffering is a Thought

Person walking on crutches

The Difference between Pain and Suffering

When you stub your toe, you feel pain physically. Suffering, on the other hand, is the mental turmoil that arises when you judge the pain, the situation, or even yourself. For instance, when you blame a sidewalk for your clumsiness or call it stupid, you are only causing more suffering for yourself. The sidewalk is just being a sidewalk and is not trying to hurt you. When you become aware of the difference, you can practice mindfulness to help you remedy pain and discomfort, rather than making it worse by overthinking and causing yourself more suffering.

In Pain? Show Up Anyway!

During a martial arts class a few years ago, I resisted a fall and ended up breaking my tibia. The pain was excruciating, and I was suffering even more by getting tensed up. My teacher came over and reminded me that I had one injury in my leg and didn’t need to make it two by hurting my head with my negative thoughts. He stabilized my leg and took me to the ER. After getting my super-cool space boot, I decided not to attend the next class because I had broken my tibia. However, my teacher advised me not to skip class just because of an injury.

If you are tired of suffering from pain, contact us at [email protected]. We can help you learn how to practice mindfulness and deal with your pain.

Learn more about Counseling in Austin.

Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s has worked in the helping profession since he started college in 1990. After completing his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas, Austin in 1994, he attended the highly-regarded University of Minnesota to earn his Master’s degree in 1997. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is recognized as a Board Approved Supervisor by the State of Texas Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Jonathan has completed Level-2 of the Gottman Method of Couples Counseling, and in 1998 received training from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation in Advanced Critical Incident Stress Management & Debriefing. To learn more about Jonathan’s practice, click here: Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s.

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