How to Live With the Emotional Impact of Chronic Pain

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Talk With a Counselor

The dark cloud over your head can affect your relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. Your job can suffer from a lack of energy or inability to focus. Your family and employer won’t fully comprehend what you are going through no matter how empathetic and well-intentioned they are. The best solution is to focus on improving your emotions and attitude by working with a mental health professional. A counselor can help you improve your mood, change behaviors, and learn how to communicate your needs to others when you are not feeling well.

Develop an Exercise Routine

Lack of physical activity leads to disuse syndrome: the weakening of muscles and bones, reduction in joint flexibility, and weight gain. This condition can often trigger other injuries and ailments and bring about more pain. The good news is you can avoid and reverse these problems through regular exercise. Mobility and strength are critical to your quality of life and happiness, so consider exercise a critical part of your mental health. Talk with your doctor or physical therapist about safe exercises for your condition and work out a long-term plan with milestones and goals.

Find the Right Medication

Medicine is as much an art as it is a science – what works wonders for one patient may have less than desirable results for another. This is why multiple treatments exist for a given condition. It comes down to individual body chemistry and genetic makeup; you might be more receptive to a specific hormonal chemical than someone else.

This is why it’s critical to work closely with your physician on the effects of a prescribed or over-the-counter medication. If a medicine isn’t performing as expected, your doctor needs to know. This could mean adverse effects like brain fog or cyclical vomiting, or subtle things like ineffectiveness in pain reduction. Most importantly, follow your doctor’s explicit instructions on dosage and frequency so you gain the best results while avoiding rebound illnesses, overdoses, and dependencies.

Participate in Enjoyable Activities

One of the overarching goals in coping with chronic pain is to eliminate stress, and participating in activities you genuinely enjoy will do this. Perhaps sailing is your thing, or bowling with your friends. Maybe it’s writing fiction or playing guitar with a band. Laugh at comedy shows and explore new restaurants to try different cuisines, or join a hot yoga or Pilates class to tune your body and mind.

When you enjoy life, you will find pain is suddenly in the background, and it’s no longer how you define yourself or plan your day. Stress disappears and you can look at tough situations with an unclouded mind. Enjoying what you do with your time will make you a happier person with a healthy attitude from which your body will benefit in fighting off your chronic pain.

 

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