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Everyone’s chronic pain is different and everyone must learn to deal with their pain in different ways. In this post I talk about 5 ways that can help you deal with your chronic pain.
Please note: This post is sponsored by Pathways but all views and opinions are my own. I am not a doctor or health professional. All posts and information on this website and on my social media are written based on my own personal experience as a patient. They are not intended as as a replacement for medical advice. Read more in the disclosure page.
1. Accept your pain – change your mindset
This can sound silly and people often fear that accepting their chronic pain means they are giving in to it. But accepting your chronic pain actually means the opposite of giving in: it means you are taking control; it means you are learning to move forward. Wasting energy on all the negative thoughts, and questioning why me, is mentally draining.
When your mindset changes you start to accept and deal with your chronic pain much better. You start to focus on the things you can do and the things you enjoy again.
It can take time – months or even years – but the important thing is that you are aware you are working towards that goal. And that means doing everything you can to help yourself.
Your pain is not a choice but your recovery is.
2. Focus on what you can do – not on what you can’t
When you have chronic pain it’s natural to focus on the things you can’t do. It’s highly likely that your pain has meant you’ve had to give up certain things – things that have been a huge part of your life for possibly many years.
Focusing on the negative stuff will only make you feel worse. You need to look at what you can do now and make changes to help yourself wherever possible.
3. Use distraction as a pain relief
A huge part of pain management is distraction. It is important to keep busy to try and not let your chronic pain take over, and keeping your mind busy means that you are not focussing on your pain.
It does not mean the pain will go away, but your attention is focused on something else.
- Exercise and movement – going for a walk, stretching, exercise
- Keeping your mind busy – reading, watching TV, puzzles
- Focusing on the present – meditation, mindfulness
Distraction is different for everyone, and doing something is often better than doing nothing.
Sometimes the pain can be so bad, that nothing can distract you. The important thing to do here is to accept it and just do what you need to do.
4. Learn more about chronic pain
A big part of learning to deal with your chronic pain is understanding more about chronic pain, how it affects us, the link between pain and the brain, and learning more on how you can cope.
The Pathways Pain Relief app will take you on a journey to help you understand why you feel pain, and help develop pain relief techniques that can help reduce your pain.
Doing what you can to help you understand your pain and how it affects you will contribute to helping you feel in control – which is a big factor in learning to cope with something that feels very out of your control.
5. Connect with those who ‘get it’
Find ways of connecting with people who understand what it is like to have chronic pain. They won’t necessarily understand your pain, as everyone is different – even people with the same type of pain often feel things differently or deal with it in their own way – but they will understand how your pain is making you feel and how hard it can be.
Search online for support groups – there is likely to be a Facebook group that is relevant for you where you will find others who will understand and who you can offload to and talk to.
Simply knowing you are not alone and that other people ‘get it’ is a game changer.
What ways do you deal with chronic pain?
Have you used the Pathways app?
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