“No pain, no gain” – How to find balance between the pain and pleasure

Humans tend to seek pleasure and flee from danger and pain. This is perfectly normal and useful in order to survive and live a satisfying life. But, as it the case in almost everything in life, we need some balance here, too. Too much “sugar” can make us sick, thus a reasonable solution is to find the middle ground with just enough enjoyment and obstacles, in order for us to grow and develop.

If we haven’t experienced any obstacles and frustration throughout our lives, we would hardly learn anything, starting from walking and talking. The hardships made us do and learn new things, find new solutions and out-grow our previous ways of doing things. If we would live in the “perfect conditions” we wouldn’t need our intelligence to seek solutions and solve problems. Similarly, our emotional and personal growth is possible because we were exposed to a certain level of frustration, and with the help of our “good enough” parents, we were able to develop a healthy level of frustration tolerance, which allowed us to sit through various temporary unpleasant conditions, in order to gain long-term benefits (e.g. sitting in the classroom quietly for long periods of time).

Escaping pain may seem reasonable enough, but as we know all too well, not quite possible or beneficial, at least in many cases. Pain (physical or psychological) is a reaction or signal from our organism that there is something wrong/dangerous in our environment or in our body/mind, and that we need to do something about it. In order to alleviate the pain, we need to use a remedy or to perform an action, therefore, we need to be proactive and understand the causes of our hardship. Simple alleviation of the symptoms is not enough, because it is only a temporary solution and it can sometimes prolong the problem. This is the case with emotional overeating, excessive use of alcohol, TV, internet, etc. in order to numb the pain.

Going though anxious or depressive symptoms may be similar, because in order for anxiety or depressive symptoms to go away, we need to sit through them, understand which basic needs we have been neglecting to ourselves, and make a conscious effort to improve our behavior and thinking patterns in order to achieve our goals and satisfy our needs.





2 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow, that last paragraph really resonated with me. All too often we neglect ourselves both physically and mentally and the end result isn’t pretty. I never thought about sitting through the discomfort and discovering where the neglect exists in order to correct behavior. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cagedunn says:

    The last para – yes, but with a time limit, to know when to come back from the quest with the gem.

    Liked by 2 people

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