Am currently developing a theory wrt pain (or at the least discomfort) and me learning something new.
The educational term is Cognitive Disequilibrium. That means your brain gets all shaken up when you encounter a new concept or paradigm that you didn't have room for in your prior worldview, and so you need to move everything around a bit to make room for the new (assuming true) thing you have learned or are learning. It's a bit like that trick to suitcase packing, where an already-full suitcase (or especially duffel) can be made to accommodate more stuff by jouncing it on the floor a little, so the existing stuff settles down, packed tighter, and there is then a bit of room at the top of your bag to add something else.
And of course the Extreme Version of Cognitive Disequilibrium would be, the Unpack-Everything-Add-the-New-Thing,-Repack-everything-Up-Again mode of repacking.
I think I've been doing some of that Extreme Version, myself, along with some of the more convenient version... hmmm.
Many people aren't, it seems, even willing to jounce their duffel-o-self a bit to make room for the more-stuff, or to reprioritize their packing lists and omit items that are less useful on further examination. Many people are probably pretty content to pack like they have always packed, assuming they have what they need to meet their needs for the next trip or emergency...
But I'm finding that I want and need some very different things now. When I used to pack my Travelling Bag and my Emergency Bag, I used to include a lot of things my Mom and Dad always included. For example, mom likes to have a shower cap. Dad had diabetes meds. I also used to overpack... "What if I want to wear THAT? and _that_?" I might say. So I would schlep a lot of extra stuff around with me, on the off chance that I or someone else would want or need that particular stuff.
You know what though? I can count on the fingers of ONE HAND the times that someone wanted one of those extra things I packed. Including me wanting to wear THAT or _that_... Life is a lot easier when I decide to pack light, when I rewrite the old packing lists.
Now rethinking The Way We've Always Done Things, well, that's a bit of work. And it's not always comfortable, either. You have to ask Why Have We Always packed the shower cap, and since I'm not diabetic and Dad's dead now, Why are diabetes meds still on the Packing List? Also, realizing, that Later When I Come Home I can Wear THAT, or _that_, and I sure don't need that, which is My Personal Unnecessary Thing I Always Have Brought On Trips, and admit to being embarrassed about the fact that you are only just now admitting that you don't need it, and whyever did it take so long to Figure That Out?
Translate that to my Physical realm and add the element of Will.
Yes, you have to hurt yourself a little, every day, to avoid Harm. That means, work the muscle that's cramping, to the point of discomfort. Bend and stretch even when the joints are creaking and the other muscles complain. You wanna be strong? Re-examine how much damn time you're spending killing time on the Internet and figure out how to make a comfortable space to do your back PT exercises in the house. And then do some yoga or bellydance, and then, seriously, you can use your Power of teh Internets to GO FIND A CLASS because you know that is how you learn best, when forced to be accountable to other people in a class (and particularly to be accountable to the Teacher, if I respect him/her...)
it is gonna hurt, at least a little, to climb back up this rock. And I won't climb in the same way as I did when I was 25 and took for granted that rock climbing was easy. It's also a totally different rock... the river's washed me downstream a significant bit. *grin* (Yes, I like metaphors and parenthetical statements, why do you ask?) I've got some new tools and, as mentioned above, have lightened my carry-load considerably; my muscles are weaker than they once were, but I know that with steady effort I can make them and me, stronger. (Literal AND figurative, here.)
Thing about Emotional Disequilibrium is that you cannot tolerate very much of it and still learn effectively (witness kids' grades dropping with parents fighting, bullying in the classroom, illness of whatever kind, etc etc etc.) However, often the process of Cognitive Disequilibrium PRODUCES Emotional Disequilibrium ... (duh) ... being uncomfortable while having to learn something new, having to admit that You Don't Know Everything, that you can be Surprised, you can be Unprepared... *gasp* quelle horror! in our culture it is often preferable to lie about what you know/don't know than to admit any kind of ignorance and willingness to be educated... We often will take hit points IN our ignorance Because we are Unwilling to admit to our ignorance... (witness most folks initial sexual experiences... and oh yeah my own *regret*)
But Emotional Disequilibrium can, when managed carefully, be the source of Learning, also. It's not MetaCognition, to think about your feelings and whence they came and what your triggers and patterns are, but it's damn effective even if I don't have a nice jargony name for it... I've been referring to it as Pathwork, healing work, Family of Origin work, Clutter-clearing, Reconstruction, and Shadow work. There's probably as many names as there are people doing the Work.
Many call it Recovery. For me, Reconstruction is a better metaphor.
ReDesigning. ReDrafting. ReWriting. Keep feeding yourself and caring for your own needs and making sure you are warm and dry and loved... as much as is possible in a chaotic world, and that you help others to be fed and warm and dry and loved... and you can probably lighten YOUR load, and help others lighten THEIRS.
Feeling useful and loved and secure in the world, yeah, that's the path to recovery/reconstruction/health.
The Path to Peace.