You know how your chronic pain feels. But how do you feel about your pain? This question probably conjures up a lot of negative, even angry feelings, and rightfully so; living with pain can be a real challenge.
While it’s natural to react to your pain with negativity, there’s a very good reason to try and overcome your gloomy disposition: you may be making it worse.
People who live with chronic pain often experience undesirable emotional or mental effects associated with their condition(s), such as:
Pain can certainly make life more difficult and deprive the sufferer of the daily activities that bring them pleasure, contributing to an overall bleak outlook.
But it’s a two-way street; pain can worsen negative thoughts and emotions, and those same negative feelings can intensify your chronic pain. Depression, anxiety and other such conditions may adversely affect sleep, eating habits, level of physical activity and more, leading to greater pain, in a debilitating cycle of suffering.
True, it can be difficult to lift your mood when pain gets you down, but it’s a worthwhile practice that can help control or reduce your discomfort.
One of the best ways to help your body cope with the pain you’re experiencing is to take steps to reduce the negative effects of depression, anxiety and stress. Here are a few suggestions for working toward this goal:
- Get moving.
Your chronic pain condition may hinder or prevent certain physical activities, but you should strive to get as much exercise as your condition permits; walking or swimming are good examples. Even light, low-impact exercises serve to keep your body in motion, which helps reduce pain.
- Laughter is the best medicine.
While laughter won't eliminate your pain condition, it is true that overall mood and outlook are uplifted when the mind is engaged by humor. The next time you sit down to enjoy a movie on TV or online, try choosing something lighthearted and funny over a serious, intense drama. You'll likely experience improved perspective as a result of such a choice.
- Don't go it alone.
Because pain causes many people to miss out on family or group activities they'd normally enjoy, it's easy for sufferers to become isolated, which can further intensify depression. Even if you can't fully participate in some events, it will still benefit you to connect and spend time with those people whose company you enjoy.
- Find activities that make you happy… and do them.
While pain may make it more difficult to be involved in all the activities you used to enjoy, it’s important to engage in those interests that bring you relaxation and happiness. Whether your preferred option is listening to soothing music, walking along a beach or spending time with friends, don’t give up on hobbies that help to improve your mindset and emotional state.
There are numerous other ways to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, (and in turn, pain symptoms,) including aromatherapy, massage, supplements and more. What’s important is to find what works for you — taking steps to adjust your attitude about your suffering has great potential to help you manage your chronic pain.
Chronic Pain Got You Down?
At Florida Pain Relief Centers, we understand the cycle of chronic pain, and the effects it can have on emotional and mental suffering. Our skilled pain specialists work to address all aspects of your condition(s) for overall mind/body well-being.
To find out how we can help reduce or eliminate your suffering for a better quality of life, call Florida Pain Relief Centers today at 800.215.0029 and schedule a consultation.
Or, click the button below to set up an appointment online at one of our clinic locations so we can discuss options for helping return you to a more pain-free lifestyle.