Living with Chronic Pain
10 Coping Tips for Managing Chronic Pain
1. Practice meditation or deep controlled breathing to aid relaxation
By focusing on natural breath and avoiding negative or detrimental thoughts, you can guide your body to a state of relaxation.
2. Ease stress in your daily life
Undesirable feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, sadness, and stress can escalate the body's pain response. By discovering new ways to better manage stress, you may experience some relief from chronic pain symptoms.
3. Find a support group you enjoy
Engaging with other people who have chronic pain may help provide psychological relief and perhaps even introduce you to new coping methods or treatment options available to you.
4. Exercise to release natural endorphins
Endorphins are brain chemicals that support your mood while simultaneously blocking pain signals. Individuals have experienced that exercise, when done in moderation, can help the relief of chronic pain.
5. Keep a daily journal of your pain level and activities
By tracking these details, you may notice trends in your chronic pain or realize what coping mechanisms work for you. Journaling will be helpful for both you and your doctor. Your doctor will know how you’ve been managing your condition between visits and can help better treat your chronic pain symptoms. Some doctors recommend logging your pain level, activities, and treatments multiple times per day – be sure to stay consistent with your tracking as the quality of your data will yield improved insights.
6. Limit alcohol intake which can help improve sleeping habits
Since chronic pain and insomnia are intertwined, by cutting back on your alcohol intake or nixing the habit altogether, you can increase your quality of life.
7. Don't smoke
Smoking can aggravate circulation problems and cause unnecessary pain.
8. Schedule a massage with an expert
Massage therapy can both lessen tension and help to reduce stress.
9. Eat a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet can help reduce risk of heart disease, aid healthy digestion, improve blood sugar levels, and maintain a healthy weight.
10. Try not to always focus on the pain
Work to find ways to focus on positive things, or find an activity that keeps you busy so that you don’t dwell on the chronic pain. While you might not be able to fully alleviate pain, you can take control to improve your quality of life.