It arrived in the mail; so rare in this age of email, Twitter and Facebook. It had the heft and shape of a card, which it indeed was.
Cheerfully written across the front were the words "Get well soon!"
"Hmmmm," I thought. "Am I sick? Why am I receiving this card?"
I was enlightened when I read the carefully scribed personal note. This card was wishing me well after I broke my arm in a car accident several weeks before. At that point, I think the cast had been on for four weeks.
It's interesting how quickly we forget about our injury when we heal from it. Think about a paper cut. At the time, that little slice into your skin can be quite painful. But, soon healing occurs and you've forgotten all about it.
Yet with other injuries, whether they be physical or emotional, we hold on to the hurt, reluctant to relinquish that familiar, yet not so pleasant pain. Partly responsible is a small gland called the amygdala - it registers and recalls situations that deeply hurt. When it finds one that looks close enough to the original offending scenario, the stress response kicks in, ready to save the day, ready to save you.
But how efficient is this when the scenario may not necessitate the big guns?
One way to work around this is to pause long enough to realistically evaluate the situation. Recruit the power of your heart to change the chemical cascade so that you aren't soaking in those stress hormones - the ones that can disturb your sleep, make you cranky, disrupt your energy flow and make you give bliss a miss.
Back to the accident and my broken arm... I started stress techniques the minute I got out of my vehicle. Not only did it help with the pain, but it also helped to diffuse the memory of that event.
You see, I did get well. Soon.