(Workbook Page 57)
The limbic system is critically involved in pain processing and soothing. Page 57 of the Neuroplastic Transformation workbook describes the limbic system and it’s cross connections with pain circuitry. Likewise, pain and emotional experience are intimately connected. Pain produces anxiety, depressed mood and fear. Conversely, depression, anxiety and fear augment pain. The good news is that by employing self-soothing strategies people can interrupt those connections. The result is less pain and more positive outlook.
When the limbic system is activated a fight flight state is set up and the brain responds by shutting off higher cognitive activity, while using these parts of the brain to respond to the perceived emergency. By activating these higher functioning areas of the brain through self-soothing strategies this excitatory brain activation is reversed
Each person can find a way to soothe themselves. Self soothing strategies come in many forms and are unique to each individual. They are based on personal experience. A nearly infinite number of self-soothing strategies can be created using thoughts, images, sensations, memories, soothing emotions, movement and beliefs. The Neuroplastic Tips pages at the end of each section provide suggestions for self-soothing strategies. A more portable tool is the R.A.F.T. card deck. Each card contains a strategy to counteract pain and lift mood. Rubbing on raw cacao butter can be very soothing. Try something comfortable and then try something different. Change is the way we grow and learn. Keep trying new things. There are ways for everyone to self-soothe. Unrelenting persistence is the key.