Keep Calm and Play Fearlessly

I saw this on Facebook today and it got me thinking. When it comes to chronic pain and/or your body, how many of you have this mindset?

How many of you can HONESTLY say that when faced with a new or unusual pain, you keep calm? Not very many, I’m guessing, because I know it’s human nature. I know that when your knee starts to hurt many of you aim directly for the top of the freak-out scale. When you get knee pain, for example, you assume the worst–“Surely I must be dying!”–and you jump to a “10.”

Once you realize that you aren’t dying and have checked “10” off the list, you quickly move on to “9”–“It’s probably some horrible disease!” The good news is, for the vast majority of you, through various tests and exams you discover that you are “horrible-disease” free. The bad news is that you keep counting.

Next up (or down depending on how you want to look at it), is number “8”–“What if it’s a blood clot?” Surely life will never be the same, you’ll be on blood thinners the rest of your life, and “Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro,” the 72nd item on your bucket list, isn’t even a possibility now.

This trend continues until you get to “5” or “6” on the freak-out scale. By that time, most of you stop counting and your “mysterious” knee pain is a puzzle to everyone involved. You’re told that “there’s nothing more you can do” and you’re tossed to the scrap heap like the rest of the folks in your position.

But what if you changed your mindset and started from the other end of the freak-out scale? Think about how much easier life would be if we “kept calm” and started counting from “1” and worked our way up. For the majority of us, by the time we hit “3” or “4” we’d have that “mysterious” knee pain figured out. Doesn’t “figured-out” have a better ring to it than “freaked-out”?

Lost in all of this is the “play fearlessly” part. In the midst of our counting backwards, not only do you not “play fearlessly,” but you are instead riddled with fear. If you would stop and look around, you’d find yourself on the exact opposite end of the spectrum from “play fearlessly.” You not only stopped playing, you stopped moving. You used to run, but now you ride your bike. You used to ride your bike, but now you swim. You used to swim, but now you walk. You used to walk, but now you…

See where I’m going with this? See where you’re going with this?

My encouragement to you is to do exactly what the picture above says: Keep Calm and Play Fearlessly.

You’ll be much better off for it. Trust me.

QUESTION: How do you react when faced with something new or unusual (pain, or otherwise)?