How to live with chronic pain
Health and beauty
Back pain, headache, arthrosis, fibromyalgia – chronic pain is different and may not leave us for years. It seems endless, interferes with work, poisons personal life, affects mood and memory.
When we encounter pain, our receptors respond by sending signals to the brain. You can get rid of acute pain by drinking painkillers, or just wait until it passes by itself. But chronic pain is completely different. The brain continues to receive signals even after the cause of the pain has been eliminated. The pain caused by chronic diseases can range from mild to unbearable. She is often accompanied by exhaustion or overeating, fatigue, depression, sleep disturbances.
It does not matter what exactly hurts: if the treatment is over and the pain remains, it becomes chronic, and it is difficult to cope with it. A person does not recover, even if the doctors do not find signs of illness in him. The fact is that our highly sensitive nervous system continues to respond, even when there is no reason for pain. This does not mean that it is exclusively in our head. This is a neurological process that determines our reactions. Its mechanisms must be understood and used to their advantage.
Our lifestyle and eating habits affect the nervous system, which responds with pain. Many are so afraid of pain that they refuse physical exertion, but at rest it only increases.
In order not to harm yourself, increase the load gradually – then the body will have time to adapt. Hiking is very helpful. This simple form of physical activity does not require expenses and preparation.
Write a daily physical activity plan. Get up at the same time. And be sure to get enough sleep: lack of sleep makes us more sensitive to pain and stress.
Pain limits, leads to stress and breakdowns. It is very difficult to look positively at the world if it does not let go even for a minute.
Chronic pain affects all aspects of our lives. Patients begin to doubt the ability of doctors to help. They are angry with themselves for not being able to get rid of suffering. They delve into the past in search of a cause, ask themselves why they deserve such pain. Anxiety and depression caused by pain only exacerbate the symptoms.
There is only one way out – to control thoughts. Do not let yourself lose heart, look for the pros in your condition. Our thoughts reflect what we feel. Do not forget that pain does not kill us. She is not an enemy to fight. The more you fight with her, the stronger she is.
Understand your pain
Learn to manage pain through relaxing exercises, breathing exercises, and meditation. Find something that helps calm down and relieve pain. Do not get hung up on thoughts about her, better accept her. Understand what you think and what. Understand: our consciousness often distorts reality, makes it darker, which in turn intensifies pain.
Stop blaming yourself
“Once I realized that everyone is somehow faced with health problems. And, realizing this, she stopped blaming herself for suffering from chronic diseases. It brought me great relief. I no longer think that life is unfair to me, ”recalls psychologist Anna Nogales.
It’s hard to fight pain day after day. And if we blame ourselves for what happened, pain enslaves us, makes us vulnerable and lonely. But this can happen to everyone. Pain is part of life. Do not wait for recovery to start living. Yes, chronic pain imposes some limitations, but our guilt is not there.
Accept life is unpredictable
“Alas, not everything does not always work out the way you want. Pain changes our plans, makes us give up. However, I prefer to openly look at the world, rather than deceive myself and endlessly experience disappointments, ”says Anna Nogales.
Life is unpredictable, it is not always possible to control absolutely everything, sometimes circumstances are stronger than us. Look at things soberly. Openness and honesty allow us to look at the world with gratitude, no matter what happens in life. It is difficult, but the only way to come to terms with yourself.
Recognize that loneliness is normal
Because of chronic pain, many have to quit work and limit their social lives. Such changes can be traumatic. They make us feel divorced from life.
Thanks to the right approach, loneliness can be turned into peaceful solitude. There is nothing terrible in sometimes feeling lonely. When this happens, you need to treat loneliness as a given and use it to good use: read good books, listen to music, meditate, write, learn something new.
Find a way to chat with people
Even in the last century, seriously ill people could only write letters to each other and send them by mail. Then the phone appeared. In addition, you could invite friends to visit, if suddenly there was no opportunity to get out of the house.
You can call, write and meet now. But apart from this, there is an easy way to communicate with others, even if you cannot walk. The Internet makes it possible to send messages by e-mail, create a page on social networks, write in chat rooms and on forums. You can communicate with other seriously ill people, find an interest group, start a blog. Keep up to date with the latest news and even work without leaving your home.
Learn to be happy for others
Rejoice for those who can afford more than you. This joy will give strength and help you feel better.
The ability to be happy for others needs to be trained. Start with those who have achieved a lot in a field that you are not interested in: for example, you have received a gold medal in competitions or an award at a film festival. Rejoice for them. If it turned out, rejoice for those who are nearby. Suppose you also want to go to the cinema, dance, run a marathon, but you cannot yet, but they can. Feel their happiness.
This is not easy, so you need to train. “When my husband and daughter went to my favorite musical, at first I only felt envy and resentment, but then I managed to turn painful emotions into joy and felt happy as if they went to the show for my sake,” says Anna Nogales.
Be indulgent to yourself
This is one of the most effective ways to get along with pain. Meanwhile, for many it is not obvious that one must first be kinder to oneself, because it is much easier to reduce the suffering that chronic pain brings. It is easier for others to sympathize, but we ourselves deserve compassion.
Do not engage in self-criticism if you said or did something wrong. You already spend a lot of effort in the fight against pain – so do not exacerbate the situation by self-condemnation. Never forget that, despite the trials of pain, you deserve happiness. Do not let anyone convince you otherwise.
“I have two children, and both are terminally ill”
Finding out that your child has a terrible diagnosis is very difficult. But what is it like when another second, equally formidable disease is found in the second child? It is hard to imagine how parents feel in such a situation. The story of a mother who learned to deal with dignity with dignity.
Why not indulge all your whims
Many of us want “all at once.” Getting to the meal, start with your favorite cake. Do your favorite things first, and leave unpleasant tasks for later. It would seem a perfectly normal human desire. Nevertheless, such an approach can harm us ourselves.