By definition, chronic pain is a type of pain that lasts for at least six months and is strong enough to affect a person’s ability to live daily life as usual. Living with constant discomfort for extended periods of time can create an overwhelming amount of physical and psychological stress. Without taking special measures, that stress is bound to boil over at times.
Physical therapy, medication, and surgery can all be important tools to help manage and overcome chronic pain, but they are only part of the solution. They may not help you cope with anger, stress, anxiety, and depression, which can all can increase your pain sensitivity.
To cope with the daily emotional burdens, consider the following chronic pain coping tips:
Change Your Focus
Chronic pain makes it difficult to get around and live a normal life. Because of this, many chronic pain sufferers end up isolating themselves from friends and family. By rediscovering old pastimes or finding new hobbies, you can connect with others through community groups or the Internet. These activities can be a welcome distraction from pain.
Deep Breathing or Meditation
You can use deep breathing and meditation techniques to relax muscles that are tense and tight from pain. When used correctly, these efforts can help you cope with pain as it happens and potentially reduce the number of severe pain events you experience.
Find Pain Support Groups
You are not alone in your struggle with chronic pain. There are people in your community who can relate to your situation and possibly provide valuable advice. Start out with a quick internet search for chronic pain support groups. If you cannot find anything, call health or senior center information lines for guidance.
Positive thinking can have a huge impact on your ability to cope. Unfortunately, many people with chronic pain convince themselves that they are powerless and incapable of dealing with their burdens. As you follow the tips above, you need to positively remind yourself that you are taking control of your emotional wellness and that you have a plan that will lead to pain and stress relief.
By making an effort to seek out activities and personal relationships while giving yourself positive reinforcement, you can better cope with your condition. Hopefully these tips will help you reduce the intensity of your chronic pain and take back your life.
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