Chronic pain, whether minor or serious, is something that one in four Americans will deal with at some point in their lifetime. If you’re one of them, learn how to cope with it!
As physically painful as the chronic pain can be, it’s often the emotional aspect that gets the best of people.
According to data curated by the National Institute of Health (NIH):
- Pain is cited as the most common reason Americans access the health care system and is the leading cause of disability.
- Roughly 25 percent of all Americans (76.2 million) have suffered pain that lasts for longer than 24 hours.
- Millions of people experience pain that lasts for months or years at a time.
While the health care system should be used to identify the source of the pain and alleviate the discomfort, there aren’t always quick solutions.
How To Cope With Chronic Pain And Stay Positive
Learning to manage your mindset in the midst of chronic pain will prove to be critically important.
Here are 6 tips to help you cope with your chronic pain:
1. Stop Blaming Yourself
“When you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness, it’s common to view your body as the enemy or feel angry and blame yourself as though it’s your own weakness that is preventing you from healing,” health journalist and consultant Julie Revelant writes.
In order to be emotionally healthy, you have to stop blaming your chronic pain on yourself.
Believing that you’re weak or ill-equipped to handle the circumstances life has thrown your way is shortsighted and unhelpful.
Instead, view yourself as strong for enduring what many people can’t.
2. Understand You Aren’t the Only One
It’s also tempting to feel like you’re the only one dealing with chronic pain. But statistics show that you’re one of many.
Just because others aren’t showing outward signs of pain, doesn’t mean they aren’t suffering through something internally.
Knowing that you’re not the only one suffering from chronic pain helps you avoid feeling like an outcast or an anomaly.
3. Explore Alternative Options
Most people with chronic pain have exhausted the basic solutions that primary care providers offer.
And while it can get expensive to chase different types of medicine and procedures, you should look into alternative options to see if they offer the potential for relief.
Take stem cell therapy as an example. Adult stem cells have the ability to improve and possibly even reverse the ill effects of certain types of chronic pain (especially those related to tissue damage).
As National Stem Cell Centers explains, “Adult mesenchymal stem cells are a form of undifferentiated cells. These kinds of stem cells are found in great abundance within fatty tissue. Lying dormant (non-replicating), these remarkably intelligent cells can be activated to become other kinds of cells specific to tendons, muscle, blood vessels, nerves, and bone.”
Until you investigate options like these, you won’t know if they can help you.
Do some research and stay on top of the latest developments in medicine.
4. Stop Obsessing Over Your Health
While it’s important to explore all of your options, you don’t want to spend every waking hour of every day researching your chronic pain. The more you obsess over it, the more of a grip you give it.
Sometimes it’s helpful to do something else that will take your mind off the pain. Like doing a light workout.
5. Enjoy The Company Of Others
Chronic pain probably makes you want to be alone. And even though there’s a time for being alone, it’s extremely helpful to enjoy the company of others.
Being around other people will distract your mind and give you the opportunity to engage others and see the world through their eyes.
6. Make A List Of Positives
When you’re experiencing chronic pain, just getting out of bed in the morning can be a monumental struggle. If you want to consistently overcome this challenge and live life to the fullest, you have to shift the way you think.
At the start of each day, grab a pen and notepad. Make a numbered list and write down three to five positive circumstances, blessings, or situations that are happening to you or around you.
This basic exercise forces you to view the world differently and can change the entire trajectory of your day.
Shift Your Mindset
Chronic physical pain is one of the more frustrating and difficult things to deal with in life. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it fosters a sense of hopelessness.
And while the ultimate goal is to find a solution to your pain, it’s just as helpful to shift your mindset.
Try some of the techniques and suggestions to get rid of chronic pain discussed in this article and see if they help your current situation. If nothing else, they should provide slight relief.