If we were to look at our behaviours as a simple math problem such as A+B=C, we can see how our behaviours can be anticipated, understood and even changed. Using the equation, take a look at your list of pain behaviours. Do you see how your behaviours connect together?
Often behaviours are a result of a trigger. We may know what our triggers are and there may be others that we won't know about until we are triggered by them. Regardless of the trigger, our behaviour serves a purpose in our lives at that given moment. You may also find that you experience multiple triggers that cause you to do what you do.
If you can view and understand your behaviours as....when this plus this happens I do this....it makes it easier to dissect why you do what you do. You may even find that the A's and B's of your equation change but the resulting behaviour is the same.
I've dealt with my behaviours and understand their layers now so let's take a look at some of my behaviour equations and see if it may help you to connect yours together.
- negative self talk+negative self perception=decrease in self esteem
- decrease in self esteem+negative self talk+pain=withdraw from life
- withdraw from life+pain=self isolation
- self isolation+pain=prescription abuse
- negative self talk+negative self perceptions+decreased self esteem+withdraw from life+pain+self isolation+prescription abuse=self abuse
- negative self talk+decrease self esteem+self isolation=self abuse
- pain+depression+anxiety+negative self talk+prescription abuse=self abuse
- prescription abuse+self abuse+anxiety+depression=increased pain
These are a few examples of my equations but I think you get the idea of the exercise. Please understand too that your equations may look different from mine and that's okay. How you are impacted by your pain and what affects your behaviours, most likely will be different from the way my pain impacts my life. The exercise however will help you to link your pain behaviours together when you are ready.
There is always a reason for why we do what we do, we just need to look deep enough inside ourselves to find the answer. Before you can change your behaviours, you need to know what causes you to behave in a particular way first.
When you are aware of your triggers and how you respond to them you can put steps in place to manage your pain behaviours differently the next time. Adopting healthy coping skills and learning what calms and soothes you, will help you to make the changes you want for you and your life.
Changing our behaviours isn't easy and understanding them isn't either, but it is possible. Be gentle with yourself when you start understanding your pain behaviours, mistakes are ours to makes...we are human after all...but the best things about making mistakes....is that we can learn from them and make the changes we need for us moving forward.