Thinking Fast and Slow & Chronic Pain
How to Heal Yourself From Chronic Pain
I healed myself using the Zero Pain Now program almost five years ago after suffering eight years of back pain, and I’ve been pain free ever since. I recently read a book called “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Nobel prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman. Here are some tips for you on how Zero Pain Now works and how you can heal yourself.
The author of the book divides our mind into two thinking systems, system1 (fast) and system2 (slow). System1 is intuitive, emotional and automatic. You cannot turn it off. For example when you see these words “banana vomit” you can’t help with feel visceral feelings and also make up a story about the words. Pause for a moment after reading these two words and let system1 impact you. What story did you make?
System2 is slow and lazy. It generally agrees with system1. It does not like to make effort. However, system2 makes the FINAL decision. For example, consider this problem :
A baseball bat and a ball cost $1.10 together, and the bat costs $1.00 more than the ball, how much does the ball cost?
If you trust your system1, and your system2 is lazy, you will probably get the wrong answer. I won’t post the answer here, but come up with your own answer to this easy problem, then google this question and you’ll find if you got the correct answer.
The workings of system1 are also unconscious. We don’t know how system1 comes up with the answers (that’s probably why its called intuition).
Here are some quotes from the author that are powerful to understanding pain:
1 — “You think with your body, not only with your brain.”
2 — “The notion that we have limited access to the workings of our minds is difficult to accept because naturally, it is alien to our experience, but it is true: you know far less about yourself than you feel you do.”
3 — “System1 believes anything and then system2 decides whether to unbelieve it.”
How do we use all this to end our pain?
It’s simple. Our system1 is telling our system2 there is a dangerous emotion. And our system2 is lazy and buys into it, diverting our attention from this emotion to pain and other symptoms.
The Zero Pain Now process focuses on sensations on the body to label emotions (generated by system1) and then acknowledges them (noticed by system2) and the pain goes away.
It’s as simple as that. We must get our system2 to check what system1 is presenting, and acknowledge it, instead of blindly buying into it. Because remember, system2 makes the final decision. Call this compassion as Matthew frequently reminds us.
Once you build this into a habit, you’ll stay pain free.
I hope this short writeup is helpful you becoming pain-free.