It can be extremely difficult living with chronic pain. It’s very easy to become down and despondent at times and focus only on the negativity of the situation.
Can Positivity Help Pain?
We need to be honest about our pain and say how we feel at times. But can being more positive actually help our pain?
A positive attitude isn’t a magic wand. It won’t send the pain flying into orbit, but it can help people cope better. When someone feels positive, they can feel empowered and more capable. If they are able to cope with their pain better, the pain itself might not feel as bad.
Positivity doesn’t always come naturally
Some mornings when I wake up, I don’t feel too positive. I could easily pull the quilt back up over my head and stay in bed – and some days I have to because of the physical pain. But if it’s mood related, I need to try to do something about it. I might have a rant, a cry or just a good old moan and then I take a deep breath and try to start the day over again. Sometimes it’s not that simple and I have to just accept that it’s a bad day, hide away and hope that tomorrow is a better day. But I can’t do that every day. I can’t let negativity drag me down. I need to try to be proactive in finding positivity.
12 Ways to Find Positivity
Here are some things I do to try to find positivity despite my pain. Please give them a go – they might help.
1 – Smile
Look in the mirror every day and smile at your own reflection – you are guaranteed to get a smile back.
Smile at other people – they’ll smile back at you.
Smiling really is infectious and it is scientifically proven to be good for you. It releases feel good endorphins which help you mood and your pain.
2 – Laugh
They say laughter is the best medicine.
Read some silly jokes, watch your favourite sitcom or look on Youtube for some funny cat or dog videos.
3 – Wash and Dress
If you’re able to, have a shower or bath, then get dressed. Some days are definitely pyjama days because of physical pain or illness. But on the other days, putting on comfy clothes can help your mood rather than wearing pyjamas all day.
4 – Eat well, sleep well
Getting good, healthy nutrition and sleep is so important for us physically and mentally.
5 – Write or talk about how you are feeling
Write about your problem. Sometimes writing about it can clear your mind and put everything in perspective. It’s worth trying.
Loneliness is common for people with chronic health problems. Chat to someone. Chat online or by telephone if there’s no-one around or you can’t get out.
6 – Focus
Focus on an hour at a time, or even a minute at a time.
Focus what you can do, rather than what you can’t.
Focus on what you have, rather than what you don’t have.
Try keeping a gratitude journal. Look around you and find things that make you happy. Old photos, family, pets, anything that triggers happy memories. Smell some flowers. Watch a butterfly. Small things like that can mean a lot when you live with pain.
Focus on whatever makes you feel better.
7 – Activity – physical and mental
I always feel better mentally if I can get outside and move about a bit, but walking isn’t always possible, nor is going outside. But there are gentle exercises which some people can still do despite disabilities. Find links on youtube of sitting exercises and gentle yoga. Do what you are able to do, and speak to your doctor or physiotherapist for advice.
If you can’t manage physical exercise at all, do some breathing and relaxation exercises.
Try to keep your mind active with distractions. Do crossword puzzles, write a story, watch a movie, read a book or get your mind engrossed in a hobby. Bake a cake, paint a picture, knit a scarf or string some beads to make a necklace. If you want some more distraction ideas, check out this post.
8 – Be around positive people
Surround yourself with positive people. It’s nice to be there with a listening ear for other people when they’re down, but sometimes you need to think about your own mood. If you’re down, you can’t help them much and their mood could bring you down further. Sometimes you need to back away, even if only for an hour until you can handle it.
9 – Music can lift your spirits
The world would be a sadder place without music. My taste in music ranges from everything to anything. But there are just some singers and some songs that I can’t help but sing along to. Singing can turn my mood around. My singing can also turn my husband’s mood around, but that’s because I can’t sing! He puts up with it though.
What’s your favourite song or piece of music?
10 – A little kindness goes a long way
Do something nice for someone. A little kindness will make them feel good, but it will also help you feel better. You could phone an old friend or spend five minutes chatting to an elderly neighbour – it doesn’t have to involve spending money. Time is often more precious to people than money.
And do something nice for yourself. Treat yourself. Do something you enjoy – take time to watch your favourite movie, do your nails or put some essential oil in a diffuser and just breathe.
11 – Be hopeful
I don’t believe in having false hope. Miracle cures that seem too good to be true normally are. But we can still hold on to hope. We can hope for better treatments and for better understanding. And we can hope for better tomorrows.
12 – Pep Talk
Look in a mirror and look right into your eyes and say “I love you”. Sometimes we knock ourselves down so much but we shouldn’t. You are doing the best you can in a bad situation, so be proud of yourself.
Love yourself – you’re worth it.
Ask For Help
If you feel down and despondent a lot, please talk to your doctor about it. It’s very easy to slip into a dark hole, and the further we go down, the harder it becomes to climb back out. So if you are finding yourself in one of those dark places and you are struggling to find a way out, then please speak to your doctor. It’s a difficult climb, but more difficult if you’re trying to climb out on your own, so please do ask for help.
Thank you for reading. I know it’s not always easy to be positive when you have pain, but I hope this post can help you is some way.
Please leave me a comment below – I’d love to hear from you.
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