Stopping pain: it's all in your attitude

Sometimes managing pain is all in an attitude change. Thinking that you're capable and competent enough to manage your pain can be half the battle in getting relief. With a few tips, you'll find you can ease your pain on your own.

Stopping pain: it's all in your attitude

Your pain is real, and don't let anyone — including yourself — tell you otherwise.

  • Acknowledging it and being realistic about the ways your condition affects your emotions, your relationships, and your day-to-day activities is the first step to managing it.
  • If you're struggling with facing your pain head-on, try these steps.

When flare-ups get you down

Just when you felt that you'd ushered pain out the door, it sneaks in through a window. You're not sure which is worse, the physical pain itself or the emotional hit of its return. Here are some suggestions for raising dashed spirits.

  • Stay active: Although you may be tempted to withdraw, it's better to continue to think of ways to solve problems, gain information about your condition. If you can see friends, and plan light activities, such as a movie night, it can keep your anxiety low. Activity is a form of distraction.
  • Be in control: Frustration will only make your pain worse. Try to stay as independent as you can, remembering that managing your pain with the help of others is an act of independence.
  • Picture better times: Imagine yourself in a place you love, like the beach, the mountains, or a forest. Think about the times ahead when you know you'll feel better.

Tell yourself you deserve relief

There's no point in suffering in silence, though many people think they must. Pain specialists estimate that 50 to 80 percent of all pain can be eased if not eliminated.

  • Don't listen to the naysayers or the doctors who tell you there's nothing more they can do for you.
  • If you think yours is a hopeless case, you won't go looking for the relief that is out there. Avoid being pain's victim.

Use a little mind control

It's not just a hypnotist's trick. You can use your mind to help relieve your pain. If you hear yourself thinking or speaking negative thoughts like these, replace them with more positive ones:

  • Instead of "I can't stand the pain," think: "I am in control of my pain."
  • Instead of "I can't do anything," think: "I can choose what I do."
  • Instead of "I hate my life." think: "I love [fill in your favourite pleasures and people]."
  • Instead of "My situation is hopeless," think: "Some days are better than others."
  • Instead of "I feel old and tired," think: "I feel best in the morning [or whenever]."
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