4 Pain Responses

4 Pain Responses

Healing from trauma can begin by better understanding four pain responses, and making healthier choices to avoid them.

The debilitating symptoms of suffering from trauma, which causes mental and/or emotional pain can permeate all aspects of your everyday life.

Pain caused by trauma can derail your plans, hopes, and dreams. It may infest and poison your emotional, mental, physical, financial, and familial security.

If you suffer from mental and/or emotional pain caused by trauma, you may never feel true contentment.

And yet, there is hope. Awareness of four pain responses can steer you in the direction of healing from trauma, and help you find the professional guidance and counseling you need.

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Four Pain Responses: Grief Reactions

Why is it important to know the four pain responses? So that you can take action, instead of continuing to react to your suffering.

Pain often emerges as negative or harmful thoughts and behavior. These behaviors are grief reactions.

When you suffer from mental and/or emotional pain, you are reacting to grief.

Suffering from psychological pain is a type of grieving.

Grief is healthy. It helps you move on and accept difficult circumstances and events.

And yet, grieving is supposed to lead to healing and contentment. It takes time, but part of the grieving process is letting go.

These four pain responses are examples of your unwillingness, or inability to fully grieve.

These four pain responses hold you back, they stifle your personal growth and overall health.

Awareness of these four pain responses will enable you to make better, more proactive choices towards mental and/or emotional healing.

Four Pain Responses: Loss of Aspiration

One of the four pain responses is losing your aspiration.

What do you desire in life? What are your aspirations?

Probably what most people desire: happy life, financial security, family and friends, and mental and spiritual peace of mind.

Life is a journey and your aspirations are the stars that guide you, keep you on track, and enable you to feel satisfaction and contentment.

Unfortunately, suffering pain can make you lose focus on what means the most to you.

Pain robs you of hope, clouds your dreams, and sidetracks your strategies. You may know what you want, but feel you don't have the power to achieve it.

Some symptoms of suffering pain include mental numbness, lethargy, physical aches and pains, eating disorders, and loss of sleep. All of which interfere with achieving your aspirations.

If you have no aspirations, it can make you feel like life has no real purpose.

Lack of aspiration may lead to depression and even thoughts of suicide.

If you feel as if life has no meaning or purpose, please seek the help of a professional counselor.

Four Pain Responses: Acceptance

One of the four pain responses is lacking a feeling of acceptance.

If you don't feel accepted, you will never feel good about yourself.

And if you never accept yourself, you cannot live the fulfilling life you desire.

Suffering psychological pain makes you feel inadequate. And when you feel inadequate, often you behave as if you're not good enough.

Extreme self-criticism is a common habit associated with suffering pain.

Many who suffer pain become obsessed with past failures and focused only on future failures.

An unhealthy focus on failure makes personal and professional accomplishments difficult.

Feelings of inadequacy permeate all aspects of your social and personal life: job, family, relationships, friendships, and community.

Pain makes it difficult for you to positively contribute. And when you don't, people may not accept you.

Lack of acceptance makes you a passive player in your own life. Suffering psychological pain often makes you feel like a victim.

Lacking feelings of acceptance is a dangerous mental and emotional space. If you feel unaccepted and alienated, please seek the help of a professional counselor.

Four Pain Responses: Disappointment

Another of the four pain responses is intense feelings of disappointment, both about yourself and towards others.

Disappointment is debilitating. It diminishes you and makes others around you feel diminished as well.

Suffering pain makes you feel disappointed, even about events that have not happened. Ever met someone who predicts failure, before you even try?

If you suffer from mental and/or emotional pain, you will have a general pessimism about all of life. The glass will always be half-empty.

If you make your family, coworkers, and friends feel as if you are disappointed in them, they may withdraw from you.

If you are constantly putting yourself down and discouraging, others will grow tired of it.

Disappointment due to suffering pain can have devastating effects on your life and those around you.

Four Pain Responses: Severed Ties

Severing ties are one of the four pain responses.

Sadly, those suffering from pain often prefer to be alone. It can be easier to withdraw into solitude than to seek help.

When you sever ties you deliberately sabotage relationships. Severing ties with others is a form of self-preservation.

However, when you sever ties in order to protect yourself, you are really just isolating yourself. Isolation makes suffering pain even more damaging.

Many people who suffer pain lose their jobs, jeopardize their marriage or relationship, injure friendships and distance themselves from family members.

Social gatherings and community events often cause anxiety because being around others make you feel vulnerable.

When suffering pain, it's easy to feel out of place, even with those you know.

When you severe ties. You create a comfortable turtle shell around yourself and all your emotions.

Unfortunately, while your turtle shell may feel safe, it is also allowing you to box up your pain. Solitude limits your freedom and hinders your pathway to eventual healing.

Many who suffer pain are often labeled as 'loners' or 'anti-social'. These stereotypical labels are harmful and ultimately untrue.

In truth, most who suffer from pain possess a sincere desire to be with others and enjoy deeper relationships.

Suffering psychological pain is a kind of social paralysis, with devastating personal consequences.


Understanding the four pain responses is key to overcoming trauma.

The four pain responses are grief in action, the result of trauma. And yet, you can choose to grieve in a healthy way.

You can break the destructive habits associated with the four pain responses, and begin healing from trauma by seeking the help of a professional counselor.

A better life is possible. Healing from trauma is on the horizon.


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