If you’re reading this, you probably don’t need me to tell you that living with a chronic pain can be, well, a real pain. It’s hard to stay positive when you have pain that follows you everywhere. You may feel frustrated, angry, or even downright depressed.
This article won’t try to convince you to “just think positive!” Instead, we’ll explore the ways we think, feel, and act. But first, let’s start with a practical tip you can use right away if you need to medicate your chronic pain.
Lessen Your Financial Pain
If you suffer from a chronic illness, pain is likely not your only worry. Simple tasks like buying groceries, commuting, or affording medication can be tough.
If you are in the United States, consider shopping at a reputable international or Canadian pharmacy online. For example, a Canada pharmacy referral service like Rx Connected offers affordable medications that adhere to strict industry regulations.
Pain is in the Mind – Sort Of
Our brain is responsible making us feel pain, but we can’t just tell it to stop. However, there are techniques from the field of psychology that can help us regain some control over our emotions.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based mode of therapy used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. CBT’s central idea is that our thoughts have a direct effect on our feelings and behaviors. By changing the way we think, we can also change the way we feel and act.
“When working with clients with chronic pain, the CBT therapist not only puts special emphasis on identifying and modifying maladaptive behaviors that have a role in maintaining pain, but they also work on identifying and increasing adaptive behaviors. Individuals are also helped to identify and correct maladaptive thoughts and beliefs, and increase self-efficacy for managing pain.” – Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Don’t think of CBT as lying on a couch and telling someone your problems. Instead, if you decide to pursue CBT in an individual or group therapy program, it will feel like taking a course. You’ll likely receive homework and be encouraged to practice techniques and exercises.
This video does a good job of explaining CBT to help get you started.
Keep educating yourself about your medical condition. Knowledge will give you confidence and clarity. As one person writes:
“Fear and anxiety probably have more power to aggravate pain than any other emotional state, and acquiring knowledge and perspective are superb treatments. A confident and happy brain amplifies danger signals less than an anxious, miserable brain.” – from Paul Ingraham’s online essay “Pain is Weird”
Until we discover a revolutionary cure, permanently getting rid of chronic pain is unlikely. But, living a wholesome, rewarding life is possible. It just takes a little practice.