Feel your pain. Whether it's emotional or physical, immerse yourself in it. . . . it is not the enemy. Don't try to hide it, run away from it, pretend it isn't there, or act like it's happening to someone else. Feel it. Make sure you know what your body, and perhaps your soul, are telling you by hurting.

Pain is a vital part of the healing process. Pain lets you know that something is wrong, that there's a part of you that isn't working, and that therefore the whole of you isn't all it could be. To avoid pain is to avoid reality.

If it's physical pain, make sure you find out what's wrong. Often the most minor things hurt the most, and yet slight pain can mean big trouble. If your pain persists, do something about it. See a doctor. Your body doesn't lie.

If it's emotional or spiritual pain you feel, embrace it as much as you can. Find out what's making you hurt and deal with it, either with a professional, with friends and loved ones, or, if you prefer, by yourself. Read books by people who have experienced a similar pain. Realize that you are not alone, whatever it is you feel, that others have found the road to comfort before you.

Alan Epstein in How to Be Happier Day by Day