Pain in everyday life: well-being

   

 Louise Walther deals intensively with the topic of functional neurology and neuronal movement training. 

pain and well-being

“How are you?” We get asked this question all the time and most of the time we answer with a short “Fine. And you?". Very rarely do we think about how we are doing. And what does it actually mean when we say I'm fine. What is behind our well-being?
When we understand what well-being means and how many facets it involves, we can actively take care of our well-being. And that holistically and with everything that goes with it. And maybe we'll manage to answer more differentiated and honestly at the next opportunity.

What does wellbeing mean?

Well-being describes satisfaction, lasting satisfaction with one's own life. It includes the levels of the individual, perception, cognition and emotions. When we speak of holistic well-being, we are talking about the mental, physical and social level, which, in addition to professional success and social recognition, also implies topics such as self-fulfillment. It is therefore important to take the different levels into account. Scientifically, two perspectives are distinguished: hedonistic and eudaimonic well-being. In the hedonistic perspective, well-being is viewed with positive affects, happiness, and life satisfaction. The eudaimonic perspective takes into account the positive psychological functions as well as experiences and further development.
 

Wellbeing from a neurocentric perspective

Neuro-centered training considers human performance and thus well-being as a form of output from the nervous system. 
In general, your nervous system has the task of ensuring your survival. In order for it to be able to do this, it is responsible for three steps:

1. It takes in information: Input

  •  From the environment = exteroception
  • From inside the body: interoception
  • About the position of the body in space: proprioception

2. It processes and interprets this information: Integration 
3. It sends a response to processing: output

  • Exercise
  • pain
  • well-being
  • fatigue
  • listlessness
  • Immune reaction
  • Stress

So if we look at well-being as the result of the processed information that our body absorbs, we can influence our well-being. 
To put it simply, it is always a matter of improving the quality and quantity of the information recorded and thereby optimizing the interpretation. 

Example:

Imagine you move very little, spend the whole day indoors, hardly get any fresh air and sit for hours in front of the computer. Your body gets little information from the environment because your environment hardly changes. The information from the interoception and proprioception is also low due to the little movement and environmental change. So your brain has little data to process. 
If, on the other hand, you go out into the fresh air several times a day, do sports, move around in a variety of ways and change your surroundings, you are offering your body a lot of different information that it can process. Your eyes are constantly picking up new data, looking into the distance, following passing cars or houses. Your sense of balance gets new stimuli to process with every step and every movement. Your body position is constantly adjusting, and your posture is constantly being corrected accordingly. So your brain gets a wide range of information and can connect it with each other. 
The more and the clearer the information your brain gets to process, the better it can assess the actual threat. And that has a positive effect on well-being.

The processing of the information is individual. Everyone has had different experiences, different basic physical requirements and potential. Therefore, in order to understand one's own well-being, it is important to consider its subjective perception. While cold water relaxes some, it causes stress for others. It's the same with pain. The perception of pain is individual and is influenced by well-being. Studies even show a positive influence on pain when people have a positive attitude towards life. 
And since both well-being and pain are influenced by subjective cognition, psychological and social factors, this is a powerful approach to managing pain. 

How can you increase your well-being?

As always - it depends. There isn't one rule that applies to everyone. As already described, your body is individual. 
Nevertheless, there are general factors that can positively influence well-being and pain. Here are my personal top 5 tips, which I always give to my customers:

1. Move in a variety of ways and often. 
It doesn't matter whether you like to go running, let off steam in the gym, drive your team in a club, walk the dog, challenge your neighbors at table tennis or romp around with your children on the playground. Whether martial arts, ball sports, dancing or strength training - it doesn't matter. The main thing is that you enjoy it and let yourself switch off mentally. And yes, climbing stairs is also part of it. Far too often these everyday little things are underestimated, which add up to big things. Far too often these everyday options are underestimated, but they make a difference in the long run. 

2. Get enough sleep. 
An aspect that I myself have rather smiled at for years and boasted that 4-6 hours of sleep is enough for me. Even if it is subjective, we need enough sleep to regenerate. Usually that's 7-9 hours a night. Everything else is overexploitation of your own body, especially your brain. Studies are increasingly pointing to the direct connection between lack of sleep and degradation processes in the brain. 

3. Eat a balanced and regular diet. 
Healthy nutrition is the basis of health. Our body builds every cell in the body from what we eat. Put simply, every thought, every decision, every hair, every skin, gut, eye or muscle cell is made up of the energy we consume. Since I have anchored this in my mind, many decisions have become easier for me. In addition, the beautiful old farmer's wisdom: Only eat what your grandparents would have recognized as food. This automatically eliminates heavily processed ready meals and the like. And choosing food seasonally and regionally can certainly not hurt. 

4. Find your dynamic balance
Your body and especially your nervous system are designed for the dynamic balance of tension and relaxation. Your tension system, also called the sympathetic nervous system, is balanced by your relaxation system, the parasympathetic nervous system. The two behave like a pair of scales, one goes up, the other regulates down. The exciting thing: we can only actively influence the sympathetic nervous system. So when we are under constant stress, our rest and recovery mode fails to work properly. Targeted and conscious breaks and regeneration times are important for this. It doesn't have to be lazy lying on the couch. I prefer active breaks, ideally in the fresh air, in nature. Sometimes a conscious, deep breath at the open window is enough. Find the balance that you and your body need for yourself. 

5. Maintain social contacts
Humans are social beings and need social interaction in order to be in harmony with themselves and the environment. That doesn't mean you have to constantly drag yourself from one event to the next. Targeted and selected contacts that are good for you instead of draining your energy should be cultivated. Maybe you know this: After a meeting or a phone call with someone, you feel drained. I then speak of energy thieves. Delete them from your life. Rather invest in people who encourage you, who give you new perspectives, who challenge and encourage you. If you have a grin on your face after a conversation, it's a good sign to add that person to your calendar more often. 

exercise of the month

Forearm pain?
Does your wrist hurt?
You finally want to get rid of your mouse arm?

Then this exercise is perfect for you!

Control in the wrist ensures a natural arm position and less tension. 

Only perform this mobility exercise in the pain-free area. If necessary, do the exercise in absolute slow motion! Only move as far as it is painless and comfortable!

You want to know more about neuro-centered training or neuro-athletics for your everyday life? 
Do you find neurotraining and brain-based training interesting and would you like to know more about it?

Then you will find it here: https://luisewalther.de/

Luise Walther in November 2022

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