Updated: Jun 1
If you are living with chronic pain, you may be able to enjoy a richer life than you think. A big part of feeling good about your life has to do with your ability to live in the moment.
You can't worry about the future, and you can't dwell on the past. When you are really feeling well, it's natural to want to spend time working, going out with friends, or playing sports. If you have been having a lot of pain, it may seem unimaginable that life can go back to being like this again.
Living with chronic pain can make your life seem complicated, but it doesn't have to. With treatments available at our pain management NYC clinic, you can manage your condition and enjoy life again.
This article gives you a few tips that will lead to a happier and more positive life, even with chronic pain.
Listen to Your Body
If you're in pain, it may seem like the last thing on your mind is being happy. However, listening to your body is one of the best things you can do for yourself when living with chronic pain.
If you're feeling pain or numbness or tingling or stiffness, listen to it! Your brain may try to convince you that it's in your head or not real, but if something isn't right with your body, it probably isn't. It's important not to ignore any warning signs from your body - even if it means taking a few days off work or taking an afternoon nap instead of going out for lunch with friends.
But don't push yourself to the point of injury or exhaustion; instead, work within your limits and use relaxation techniques such as meditation or guided imagery to help you manage any stress that comes up along the way.
Learn to Manage Stress
There are many different types of stressors in our lives: work issues, family issues, financial problems, relationship problems, and so on. The thing they all have in common is that they cause us mental tension that makes us feel anxious or worried.
Stressful situations often cause us to feel emotional distress — like anger or sadness — but these feelings may also be accompanied by physical symptoms like headaches or muscle tension in other parts of our bodies as well as digestive problems, all of which can make it even harder to deal with your chronic pain.
When you're stressed out and anxious, your body releases cortisol which causes inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation causes pain and fatigue. The more stress you have in your life, the worse your pain will be.
[Suggested article: How To Manage Stress For Chronic Pain Sufferers]
Get Plenty of Rest
Sleep is essential for overall health, but it's especially important for people who have chronic pain. In fact, research has shown that inadequate sleep is associated with increased levels of fatigue, depression, and anxiety — all symptoms associated with chronic pain.
The good news is that getting more sleep can help ease your symptoms and boost your mood. If you've been suffering from insomnia or other sleep problems due to chronic pain, talk with your doctor about strategies for improving your sleep quality and quantity.
Chronic pain can make it hard to determine when you need to push yourself and when you need to take a break. It's important to set realistic goals and expectations for yourself, but don't be afraid to ask for help when things get too much.
If you feel pain, stop what you're doing and rest. Your body will tell you when it needs rest and when it needs to move again. Know how much you can do, put limits on what you can do when you're in pain, and ask for help when you need it.
If your family or friends are willing, let them know what kinds of tasks they can do so that you don't have to do everything yourself. The more support you have, the happier and healthier you'll feel!
Surround Yourself with Supportive People
If you're in pain, it's likely that you spend more time alone than most people do — and this isolation can make it much harder to keep moving forward. However, if you surround yourself with supportive people who understand what you're going through, they'll help keep your spirits up when things get hard.
In addition to family and friends, consider joining a support group or finding an online community where you can connect with others who share similar experiences (e.g., online support groups).
Find Meaning and Purpose in Your Life
It's easy to lose sight of what matters most when you're struggling with chronic pain on a daily basis. You may start to wonder what good you do in this world if you're unable to do the things that make you happy or even get out of bed some days.
Chronic pain can make it difficult to find happiness, but it doesn't mean you're weak, flawed, or doomed to suffer forever. That's why finding purpose is so important; it gives us something positive to focus on during the day instead of dwelling on our problems or thinking about how much better off we'd be without chronic pain. So find things that interest you, and include them in your daily routine.
Eat Healthy and Maintain a Healthy Weight
Eat healthy meals that are low in fat, salt, and sugar (but not necessarily carbs). Research shows that people who eat healthier tend to feel better than those who don't! It also helps prevent weight gain, making living with chronic pain even more difficult. [Suggested article: Managing Chronic Pain With Anti-Inflammatory Foods]
Aim to maintain a healthy weight which will reduce strain on your body. This will make day-to-day activities easier and reduce fatigue. It also helps prevent other health issues such as heart disease and diabetes that may complicate chronic pain management.
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to manage chronic pain conditions and improve your quality of life. Regular exercise will help increase blood flow around your body, reducing stiffness and swelling and improving muscle strength and flexibility.
This can help improve your overall health and may even help reduce your chances of developing future injuries or diseases. Exercise can also help boost endorphins which will help relieve stress and anxiety associated with chronic pain conditions.
Consult with a physical therapist. They will be able to teach you how to exercise safely and effectively so you can start working towards living a happy life again!
Try to Stay Positive
Try to stay positive even though it may be hard. It's easy to get down on yourself when you have an illness that affects your quality of life and makes every day more difficult than it should be. But staying positive doesn't mean pretending everything is okay when it isn't — it just means trying to look at the bright side of things as often as possible.
Don't Let Pain Ruin Your Plans
If you've got a doctor's appointment or something else on your schedule that you're looking forward to, don't let the possibility of pain stop you from going. If you find yourself worrying about how much it will hurt and what might happen if you get worse, remind yourself that there are treatments that can help reduce your symptoms and help control the pain.
Find the Treatment that Fits Your Needs
Everyone's experience with chronic pain is different, so you need to find what works best for you. If you have had negative experiences with prescription drugs in the past, there may be alternative treatments that can help without causing side effects or addiction issues.
For example, chiropractic care has been shown to be effective for many types of chronic pain conditions — including low back pain — without any addictive properties or side effects associated with prescription medications.
The best way to get relief from your symptoms is by finding what works best for you personally rather than relying on just one method of treatment.
Don't Let Chronic Pain Control You
Our pain management NYC clinic offers innovative treatment methods to help you live the best life that you can, despite the pain. Don't let your fear of chronic pain control you and stop you from living your life to the fullest.
Use these strategies to live a happier, healthier life and be mindful of your mental health as much as your physical well-being. By focusing on all aspects of your well-being, you will find balance in life with chronic pain.