Insights on Coping with Pain and Suffering

Day 1 of 40

Daily insights to help you cope with pain and suffering

Day 1:  The Experience of Pain and Suffering

Though common, human experiences, pain and suffering are individual and personal.

It’s impossible to make it through life without experiencing pain and suffering. Although we don’t all deal with the same type or severity of hurt, we all have some experience with it. Pain can be physical, psychological, social, or spiritual. It may be acute, as in the sudden onset of illness, loss of employment, death of a loved one, natural disasters, or violent acts. It can also be chronic when multiple losses occur or when there is no relief from physical, psychological, social, or spiritual pain.

We must remember that pain and suffering are individualistic experiences. It’s important that each person be able to tell their personal story. Pain and suffering are subjective in nature, meaning that we don’t all undergo the same events in the same way. Age, experience with loss, personality, culture, support systems, and available methods of coping are just some of the factors that make pain and suffering individualistic. When we understand how these factors influence us, we may become better able to understand our personal reaction to tough times.

Consider This:

  • What is your story of pain and suffering?
  • In what ways is your pain physical, psychological, social, spiritual, or a combination of these?
  • In your life, do you have supportive individuals who are able to respond empathetically to your pain and suffering?

Take Action:

Share your story with others. Identify close friends, family members, a minister, or a counselor with whom you can share your story. Identify the impact pain and suffering have had on you. Identify what helps you deal appropriately with the pain and what is not helpful.

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