As the new episode of Invisibilia explores this question, it has me thinking about the further implications.
On one hand, pain is an indicator that you’ve gone too far and danger is imminent. On the other hand, sometimes the body doesn’t quite know what to think and pain is the wrong response to a given situation.
This is most apparent when you are public speaking. There is no imminent danger, yet, your palms sweat, your heart rate rises and you get tense. The brain is reacting, but the response doesn’t match the reality of the situation.
At some point, when do you step back and realize your brain has sent an irrational signal to your body? At what point are you able to push through knowing you are okay?
Similarly, your bad day might be throwing you off in your tennis match. But how much attention should you pay to it? There’s nothing you can do now other than play tennis. The more you let it get to you, the more it will get you down.