Fibromyalgia and Emotional Wellbeing

Tips To Improve Your Emotional And Mental State When Living With Chronic Pain

Dealing with chronic pain can exact a toll on your emotional and mental state of being. You may be constantly stressed by your pain and may even suffer from depression because the pain is affecting all areas of your life and your ability to do the normal activities of daily living.

There are ways to improve your emotional and mental state when you are living with chronic pain. Here are some tips that may help you:

  • Have a massage. Make sure the massage therapist knows you are dealing with chronic pain and ask them to give you a gentle massage. Massages are known to reduce pain and decrease stress levels. When you are more comfortable and have been properly pampered, you will feel better physically and emotionally.
  • Practice yoga. Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that is good for people who have chronic pain just as much as it is good for people who do not have chronic pain. Choose a style of yoga, such as Hatha yoga, that is gentle on your joints and the rest of your body. The practice of yoga will relax you and will make you feel better on a physical and emotional level.
  • Positive affirmations. Use positive affirmations to reprogram your mind towards a positive mindset. Affirmations can help you accept your life as it is and this means more peace of mind and a better quality of life.
  • Practice qi gong. This is another ancient form of exercise brought to the West from ancient China. Initially a form of martial arts, it is a good form of exercise for people who have chronic pain. It involves smooth, fluid movements and is simple enough that anyone can learn it and it can even be practiced by those who cannot even get out of bed because of their pain. It is known to reduce stress and improve emotional health.
  • Attend a support group. Many large hospitals and HMOs have support groups for people who have chronic pain and other maladies. When you can share your story of chronic pain with others and get support around dealing with chronic pain, you feel better and you know that you are not alone in your struggle with pain.
  • Practice meditation. Mediation requires no physical activity at all and can be done sitting up or lying down. While focusing on relaxing your muscles and controlling your breath, your stress level goes way down and you feel more relaxed. This results in less thought about your chronic pain and more inner peace. The best part about mediation is that anyone can learn it and it can be done just about anywhere.
  • See a therapist or holistic wellness coach. When you are dealing with chronic pain, it often causes depression and anxiety. These things can easily be managed when you find a compassionate therapist who can hear your concerns about the pain you are experiencing and can help you devise coping skills that can be practiced daily to improve your spirits and enhance your mental health.
  • Consider antidepressants.  Talk to your doctor about taking an antidepressant if you are suffering from chronic pain and it is affecting your mental and emotional state. Some of the older, antidepressants, called tricyclic antidepressants, may be useful for people who have pain issues as well as depressive issues. Even some of the newer SSRI antidepressants have been successfully used by people with chronic pain to relieve underlying depression associated with having pain every day. However, due to the complexities of these drugs, you may need to work closely with your physician to find one that works for your body type.
  • Practice Tai Chi. This is an ancient form of Chinese martial arts. It is now a practice mainly used for healing. It involves doing fluid movements in tune with your breath and has been known to reduce stress, improve balance, and improve perceptions of pain in those who are dealing with chronic pain.
  • Use a heating blanket. Chronic pain is often made worse when you are exposed to the cold. If you snuggle under a heating blanket, especially during cold winter months, with a good book, you can lift your spirits and improve your emotional state. When you are more comfortable, you think less of your chronic pain and can feel emotionally better.