Six ways to cope with chronic pain
Living with pain day in and day out can have a catastrophic effect on your energy levels and mental health.
As well as following your doctor’s advice in regards to physical therapy and/or medication, it can help to refocus your energy into other areas of your life to prevent depression and better cope with the situation.
Below are some ways you can do this.
1. Live in the present moment
When you have chronic pain it can be easy to ruminate on the past or fixate on the future. Focusing your thoughts on the present moment encourages you to live in the now and can help reduce stress and anxiety. Many people find mindfulness meditation helpful, with some saying it helps to reduce the perception of pain.
2. Understand the mind-body link
There is a strong connection between your emotions and physical sensations. Stress and anxiety can make the body tense up and can make pain worse. Try to reduce your stress levels. There are many ways you can do this including gentle exercise and hypnotherapy.
3. Listen to your body
When dealing with long-term illness it is important to listen to what your body is telling you. When you need a rest – take a break! It can be tempting to ignore your body’s signals to try and keep going, but this will only make you feel worse in the long run.
4. Create a support system
Asking for help and building a network around you can help to lighten your burden. Whether it’s practical support you need (like help doing chores) or emotional support, having key friends and family around who understand your needs is imperative.
5. State your needs
Instead of suffering in silence, be sure to tell your support system what you need from them. This will not only help you, it will help them feel useful and empowered.
6. Express gratitude
It can be difficult to look on the bright side when enduring pain, but this shift in attitude can do wonders for your quality of life. Try to get in the habit of writing down something you’re grateful for every day.