Dealing with Chronic Pain Using Your Brain - Resources for Patients
Updated: Aug 21, 2021
This video describes the correlation between pain and suffering. Feeling pain doesn't necessarily mean that you need to suffer.
Filling up your "happy bucket" makes the effect of unpleasant thoughts and emotions weaker. Use a pleasant events list to come up with things you can do EVERY DAY to keep your positive neurochemicals up.
Mindfulness helps us to gain more control over our thoughts and where we want them to go. It's not all staring at your belly button, it's choosing to be PRESENT in whatever you are doing. To truly be aware of what's happening in and around you. It is often good to direct your focus outside your body when you are in pain. Meditating while looking at a candle flame can help with this. Laughter can't hurt either, so the F*ck that meditation may be up your alley.
Being kind to ourselves makes everything feel a bit better. Check out the work by Kristen Neff. She has some lovely resources available to get into a self-compassion mindset.
When we feel chronic pain, we sometimes believe that things will never feel better, that this is our new life, that we will become homeless, that no one will love us, and on and on until we feel absolutely terrible. Using a therapeutic technique called CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) it is possible to decrease that catastrophization by thinking our way through it. It's a great technique and worth exploring. Barbara Heffernan does a fantastic job of explaining how CBT can help with controlling your anxiety and depression.
Being aware of our emotions can help us figure out if what we are feeling is from our physical or emotional pain. Using a tool like a feelings wheel will help to identify them makes it much easier.
There is a wonderful app called Curable. It has an annual fee, but will help to guide you through the possibilities that exist in treating your own pain. You can use the free trial to see if you want to pursue it.