No one wants to go through life in constant pain, but unfortunately, for many people who suffer from chronic pain, that is the reality. If you have always been active and healthy prior to the onset of chronic pain, it can be even harder to come to terms with the changes you are facing, and this can cause your mental health, as well as your physical health, to spiral out of control.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Yes, living well with chronic pain is tough, but there ate lots of things you can do to manage your pain and live a happy, healthy life despite it as you will see below.
Meditation, as well as deep breathing and relaxation techniques, are great for people who suffer from chronic pain because they help the body and mind to relax and stop focusing on the area of pain quite so much. Although chronic pain is often physical, there is a significant mental side to it too, and the more you focus on your pain and how awful it is, the more pain you are likely to feel, whereas if you stop thinking of it, or at least think of it in a more positive gentle light, it won’t always feel so bad. This may sound a bit woo, but numerous studies have shown it to be the case, and if you give it a go you will probably find that meditation is a great tool to have in your chronic pain arsenal too.
Talk to someone
When you are suffering from chronic pain, it can feel like no one understands and you’ll never be the same again You have all of these emotions swirling around your head and they only serve to make you feel even worse. By talking to someone who understands, whether that’s a chronic pain support group filled with people who do get it, exceptional personal injury attorneys who have helped countless people like you through their issues before, or a decent therapist, just talking can be a real tonic that gets you through the worst and helps you come out the other side a better person.
Remove as many stressors from your life as possible
Numerous studies have shown that stress only serves to worsen chronic pain, so if you want to start feeling better, you need to eliminate as many stressors in your life as possible. From so-called friends who always seem to bring you down, to a job where you work too hard for too little reward, anything that is not helping you to live your best, most peaceful life, you should seek to eliminate. Obviously, you might not be able to remove all the stressors from your life, at least not immediately, so be sure to leave sometime free in your schedule to decompress, relax and release your tension in whatever way works best for you.
Physical fitness is something that a lot of people experiencing chronic pain avoid. This is understandable because when you’re in pain, getting motivated to move can be hard, and anyway, you’re probably worried that exercising might make things worse, but as long as you do it safely, the opposite is usually true. Ask your physiotherapist how much exercise you can do and what kinds of fitness are likely to be most beneficial and try to incorporate them into daily life with one or two rest days each week. Your physical and mental health will thank you for it.
Give up smoking and junk food
If you are currently a smoker or someone who overindulges in junk food, you may want to think about reducing your intake with a view to quitting the habits eventually. Both smoking and junk food, particularly if it makes you overweight, have been shown to make chronic pain worse overall, even if they so make you feel better in the moment. Of course, giving up a vice is not at all easy, so you may want to get yourself some support with it all.
Chronic pain may be a fact of life for you, but you shouldn’t let it take over your life and make you miserable – you can fight back, and as you can see, the things that will help you to do so are not particularly complicated, so what are you waiting for? Time to take control and begin living well with chronic pain and start living your best life, whatever that looks like to you!