Growing Pains Suck. Let’s Frame Them in a Healthy Way and Ask For Help

Your biggest problem is you think you shouldn’t have them. Because problems are what make us grow. Problems are what sculpt our soul. Problems are what make us become more. – Tony Robbins

A lot – if not everything – of what I post is first of all a reminder to myself. This post is definitely it.

It’s a very short one:

It’s a quick reminder to take a breath and reframe whatever you’re going through in a way that would allow your shoulders to drop.

You know when that happens after a friend tells you that one empathetic and empowering comment?

Or when you hear a teacher you like tell you that it’s all part of life?

Or when you read that painfully beautiful quote that you have saved somewhere – or written down – years ago?

There is always something. Always.

So whatever you might be going through, I’d like to ask you to do two things.

One, reach out to someone.

Don’t go down the spiral of shame, thinking that what’s happening to you is entirely YOUR thing. A conversation with a friend is literally therapeutic: the power of connection is something neuroscience confirms, showing us how a loving conversation with someone changes our biochemistry.

As Psychology Today summarises,

Conversations are not just a way of sharing information; they actually trigger physical and emotional changes in the brain that either open you up to having healthy, trusting conversations or close you down so that you speak from fear, caution, and anxiety.

Conversations have the power to change the brain by boosting the production of hormones and neurotransmitters that stimulate body systems and nerve pathways, changing our body’s chemistry, not just for a moment, but perhaps for a lifetime.

Two, seek those inspiring and shoulder-dropping resources.

You don’t need to figure it all out by yourself, and the bigger your toolbox is to deal with stress, anxiety, or other unpleasant situations, the better.

One of the sources I encourage you to explore is…your own past!

I was walking in my kitchen today, thinking of a stressful situation I happen to be in, when a silent yet empowering voice in my head whispered to me:

“You can handle this. You’ve been through this before and you did well. You always found a way.”

Then, I indulged in that voice who started telling me how awesome I was, how I’ve lived on different continents and always managed to navigate my way through different difficult situations, and how this one will be another example of it.

A less silent “Hell yeah!” followed.

But it’s not always there. It has to be summoned. And, frankly, it can disappear very quickly.

That’s why reminders are needed. Tools are needed. Conversations with friends are needed. In fact, I believe that voice whispered those things to me precisely because I had talked to two friends today. My biochemistry was already in a better state.

Don’t suffer in silence. Growing pains are inevitable, yes, and they build our character, but they don’t need to be unnecessarily painful.

You’re never alone and you’re never helpless.

I do want to leave you with one tool: a heart-opening meditation with Tara Brach. It has been a huge help in my personal life and I am sure it will leave you much more compassionate than before.

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