Suffering Creates People with Stronger Spirits
It’s often said that once we succeed in controlling our suffering and ending it, we have a passport to liberty.
They are words of great beauty, and when reading them we have to ask ourselves: “Fine, and how does this work? How do I stop my fears, my failures, anxiety and suffering?”
In order to control our emotional states and transform that negative energy that torments us, it is always very useful to understand the internal anatomy.
Suffering and sadness are present in our brain through subtle and powerful mechanisms. These have a very specific purpose that we are going to explain in the following article.
We hope this is helpful.
Suffering and the “sad” brain.
Suffering is the internal dialogue that we create in the brain. We may have painful experiences, suffer losses, have failures, betrayal and bitter disappointments. However, one thing is physical pain and the other is emotional pain.
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Suffering that torments us and at times causes us to fall into a depression has an internal dialogue as its only origin.
People who experience the same trauma handle it differently. It all depends on the internal resources and the dialogues that they establish in their minds.
When negativity is turned off, calm and equilibrium will take its place. These ideas are easy to understand. Even though comprehendible, it is hard to turn off the interruption of bitter and negative thoughts to end suffering.
Because the pain is emotional and attached to the spirit, it traps us and strangles us and it is not easy to escape from it, just because we want to.
The “sad” brain functions differently
Human beings have millions of nerve cells in the brain that make up an interconnected web. At the same time this builds what we call the “conscience.”
Neuroscientists tell us that fear is a very powerful emotion in our brain.
Through structures such as the hippocampus and the amygdala, the brain gathers information from its surroundings to warn us of risks without us having to actually see them.
- The brain wants us to survive, and because of that, negative emotions such as fear, suffering, or sadness give us warning signs that something isn’t right.
- Sadness, as seen through diagnostic tests, alters almost 70 different regions of the brain.
- The amygdala, the hippocampus, the prefrontal cortex, and the anterior cingulate are some of those structures, as well as a very specific and interesting one, which is the insula.
- The insula is a part of the brain related to the perception of the body and taste. All of this explains to us why, when we are sad and experience suffering, everything seems to stop, including sensations such as taste.
- In spite of others telling us to stop the suffering and get a ticket to reality, our brain doesn’t react and we are incapable of recovery.
Our internal music is playing a different song because our “sad” brain has turned off the sound of life.
Overcome suffering to be stronger
It’s worth remembering a sweet phrase by Leonard Cohen: “Everything has a crack and that’s how the light comes in.”
Whatever is broken or in pieces doesn’t have to stop us from moving ahead in life.
The fractures are cured, but that change will never let us return to our original state. We will not be the same as before.
- We are now more powerful. The crack let in the light of wisdom, knowledge, and learning in that change.
- To overcome suffering you should give it time. You already know that the brain functions in a different way from that point onwards. You need to be patient and find support in the people who love you.
- We have to understand that our brain wants us to stay calm. In this way we can concentrate our energy on finding a solution to what is worrying us and causing us harm.
The objective is to change something about yourself or surround yourself with things that make you feel better. Accepting what happened and motivating yourself for something new or different are two essential steps that we ought to foster.
Neurologists always tell us that understanding the mechanisms by which the brain functions would help us deal much better with these states of sadness and suffering.
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It’s good to remember that sorrow is not eternal, but a temporary process that we overcome in order to learn and continue surviving.
We continue to adapt to these turbulent waters, and at times very complex situations.