Suffering is inherent in the human conditionIt is something that is a part of life and one thing cannot be separated from another.
Now we can live less suffering; this is why we can apply some of the precepts of a school of philosophy called Stoicism, which has over 2000 years of history and has been of great influence in the development of one of the main theoretical frameworks of psychology : the cognitive – behavioral model.
Different forms of pain
We can suffer from multiple causes and, in this sense, we must do a first distinction between physical pain and emotional pain.
When we talk about emotions, it should be noted that they are all useful and necessary, although some may be more pleasurable than others.
We can see emotions as a tool that nature has provided for us to run our lives (without letting our emotions run them). Thus, anger, when done properly, prompts us to defend ourselves or others against something that we consider unfair. Fear, when based on real danger, protects us from possible harm. I sadness at the loss of something important pushes us to withdraw into ourselves, invites us to analyze and reflect, Promote the necessary changes in our lives or the way we see the world, or the way we see ourselves.
however, all the emotional pain that plagues us is not necessary or useful; much of our pain is excessive and sterile, that is, it doesn’t get us anywhere, it doesn’t improve our lives.
This unproductive suffering is explained by the role of thought, which is a human attribute that differentiates us from animals, so that thepeople are saddened by fantasies of a future that has not yet arrived (and may never come) or we regret things that happened a long time ago. These thoughts lead us to escape the one place we can actually exist: the present moment.
We can look into the future to make plans or to prepare for possible setbacks, and we can look back to the past to learn from mistakes. The problem is when this activity becomes excessive or misdirected, when we feel the need to anticipate whatever may happen, or when we wallow in guilt, preventing any choice to think and grow.
Thinking, like many other activities, can become a habit, and when we get used to thinking in a certain way we get used to suffering, often without realizing that we are hurting ourselves with this way of thinking. When we speak of thought, we can in turn speak of cognitive processes, here there would be language, memory or attention, among others.
What we put the magnifying glass on our attention is magnified, so if I decide to focus on the opportunities, I will pay less attention to the risks, and if I focus on the valuable things in my life, I will pay less. Watch out for losses or things I haven’t yet or things I might lose.
The suffering caused by the search for control
Much of the torment we inflict on ourselves is the habit of trying to keep everything under control. We often pay too much attention to issues over which we have no direct control or control at all. Our attention span being limited when we focus on what is worrying us, we neglect what we might be facing – that is, we neglect our room for maneuver.
This behavior, sustained over time, causes us to feel helpless, tired and helpless. By always being alert we are tense and this can make us irritable.
Developing the habit of focusing on our true patch of possibilities will bring us greater peace.It will avoid wasting time on issues that we cannot influence, it will make us more efficient, it will free up mental space by giving more fuel to the muscle of creativity and all of this will have a remarkable impact on our mood.
To regain and strengthen our true power we have to ask ourselves the question “and what can I do in this situation?” and explore the answer in depth, mobilizing all the resources at our disposal. We will no longer be tormented for not having done what we can do.
Now, if the answer is “nothing,” there is no choice but to accept this reality and endure the situation. Giving in to the inevitable provides immediate relief, as one stops struggling with something that cannot be changed.
The tendency to be tense, vigilant, sometimes makes us live believing that we don’t have all of those unpleasant situations that we imagine because we are in control of what is going on, and that makes us believe that if we come out of this state. sick alert things could happen terribly. Working like this makes it very difficult for us to stop being vigilant, Because we see it as a threat.
The paradox is that when we allow ourselves to let go and relax, our mind expands and our ingenuity improves, So that we can better cope with any eventualities. This, in turn, is an opportunity to verify that it is not necessary to try to control everything.
Lord, grant me the serenity to accept all that I cannot change, the courage to change what I am able to change, and the wisdom to understand the difference. – Reinhold Niebuhr –