Today, I want to talk about how to deal with emotional, physical, and mental pain by reflecting on and practicing four essential virtues.

Dealing With Pain


Pain can be overwhelming

Pain is discomfort that is caused by an injury or illness. Because of this discomfort, pain strips us of our ability to operate at peak efficiency.

Most physical, mental, and emotional suffering is avoidable. Don’t jump from high places if you want to avoid breaking your leg; avoid over-stressing and lost sleep if you don’t desire headaches; avoid manipulative people and destructive ideas if you don’t want to be emotionally hurt.

However, there are pains we cannot avoid. There is pain involved in growing one’s willpower. There is pain involved in going to the dentist. Furthermore, there is pain involved in overcoming an adverse and painful childhood.

Growth and maturity are attached to suffering, and we need to learn how to manage discomfort if we want to become individuals. By reflecting on the virtues of gratitude, courage, patience, and fortitude, we can understand how to overcome agony when we face it on our path to greatness.

How Does Gratitude Help You Conquer Pain?

gratitude and pain

Gratitude helps us process or ignore suffering.

I’m a firm believer that gratitude can help one overcome many obstacles. Our lives are full of countless benefits that did not exist ten, thirty, a hundred, or thousands of years ago.

However, all people can do is complain. When we are in pain, compliant only doubles the discomfort because of we’re exerting energy towards acknowledging the pain we are experiencing.

On the other hand, by reflecting on the blessings that we have, we can distract ourselves from our discomfort. Through reflection, we can increase our optimism as well as decrease our stress, headaches, anxiety, and depression.

For example, if I am dealing with the strain of exercising, I may want to quit. However, while working out, I can focus on how grateful I am to have the free time and physical ability to exercise. Because I’m distracted by what I am thankful for, I am flushed with positive emotions and humility, which distracts me from the discomfort of physical improvement.

How Does Courage Help Your Overcome Pain?

have courage

Have the courage to face discomfort

To overcome pain requires courage. Physical and mental courage requires pushing through our limitations and earning a fitter body or a sounder mind.

For example, emotional courage is about pursuing better relationships or standing up for oneself against manipulators. Being rejected by the tribe is painful, but one must dare to face this pain head-on to live a better life surrounded by honest, supportive people.

The by-product of character growth is discomfort as we overcome our previous limitations. Pain is a scary thing, but the benefits gained on the other side are worth having the courage to keep going even when everything seems unbearable.

How Does Patience Help You Defeat Pain?

learning a skill

Learning a skill requires patience

Suffering usually lasts for a good while. There are no quick remedies for pain. To better deal with discomfort, it’s crucial to have the patience to withstand.

Patience is a hard-won skill requiring immense emotional control and willpower. Through the development of these elements, one can learn how to weather any storm and remain level-headed during trials. This level-headedness is always a benefit because it allows us to think clearly and react consistently.

Discomfort can bring a barrage of emotions and mindsets such as sadness, anger, and resentment. By being patient, we can weather these emotional storms with stability while pursuing self-growth and improvement.

How Does Fortitude Help You Beat Pain?

exercise and pain

Exercise is painful. Thus, you’ll need the fortitude to withstand the pain

Endurance is our capacity to withstand the worst life has to throw – and keep moving. If we have a weak backbone, the slightest discomfort will cause us to give up and scream in frustration.

For example, if you never build your emotional endurance, the smallest inconvenience will rattle you and ruin your day. Or, if you lack physical fortitude, you will feel exhausted after climbing the stairs.

Therefore, the best way to combat pain is to harden yourself against it. Don’t seek comfort. Embrace voluntary forms of pain, build your willpower, and you’ll be ready.

You Can Become A Stronger Individual And Deal With The Pain of Life

fight pain

Gratitude, courage, patience, and fortitude help us overcome pain and reach happiness.

Learning a skill is painful. Getting in shape is hard. Becoming more emotionally mature will hurt.

However, we should focus on how grateful we are to have the opportunity to become an individual. Then we need to have the courage to reject our desires to be comfortable. From here, we can empower our patience, so we’re more capable of dealing with our restlessness. Lastly, we should have the fortitude to stand against distractions, doubting internal voices, and external critiques.

From learning a skill to popping my knee out of its socket, I’ve been in painful situations. However, I’ve focused on the virtues above and have seen my way through these painful moments.

Stay focused, and you can make it through the suffering to reach the heavens of your full potential.


  1. Of the four virtues listed here, which one do you struggle with the most? Why?
  2. When was the last time you were in pain? What caused it, and how did you overcome it?
  3. When faced with a painful situation, try to reflect on these virtues, and see if this reflection helps you process the pain.

Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.

*Image credit to Unsplash.