Since my 2008 diagnosis, I have experienced a list of grievances so long, I could complain about them every minute of every day, month after month and so on. My hands ache and my feet feel like you put them between two blocks, hit them with a hammer and then set them on fire. I'm mad. I'm sad. I feel helpless. Obviously I'm entitled to complain, right?
It is so easy to fall into a negative state of mind but would you reconsider going down that rabbit hole if I told you that negativity actually causes us to feel more pain? This post notes the effects of negative thinking on people with Chronic Pain and gives steps to take to think responsibly.
What You Seek Is Seeking You
We can literally think more pain into reality. "What you think about your pain and how you anticipate pain in the future may actually create more of what you don't want."
"The more you complain, the more you summon your creative energies to attract the very thing you complain about." In turn, if the complaint is about pain, more pain will follow. Misery loves company, right?
Luckily, the opposite is true as well: positive thinking breeds positivity. So how can we shift our thoughts to a positive majority?
"Chronic pain changes the brain functionally, structurally, and chemically." It's going to take focus and effort to create a positive mindset. Here are a few tips:
Break the Habit
Keep track of how many negative thoughts come up in just one day. Once you become aware of them, you can shut them down and begin to replace harmful thoughts with healthy thoughts.
Find a Distraction
A study found that if we focus on something other than our pain, our body's response to pain signals is inhibited. Check out that study here.
Find the Positive
It sounds funny but there has never been a better time to have Chronic Pain. Just think, Fibromyalgia wasn't even recognized as a real condition until 2015! Studies and research are on the rise and there have never been more cute and comfy pajamas to choose from!
Record your Gratitude
"Those who engage in gratitude practices have been shown to feel less pain." Whether it's related to your condition or not, jotting down a list of just three things you're grateful for every morning can set a positive tone for the rest of your day.
Surrender to the Pain
Although it sounds like a negative choice, consider if you accepted your situation instead of constantly resisting it. Resisting what IS is exhausting and futile. If you can own your pain, you can own it's power. For a deeper look into this idea, read this great post on CreakyJoints.org
Don't Give Up
New research shows that it takes about 66 days to form a new habit. If you fall off the Gratitude Train, keep jumping back on. Your hard work will pay off, keep thinking responsibly!
"Me vs. Fibromyalgia" is a biweekly, one-of-a-kind series designed to give readers and warriors affected by Fibromyalgia a comprehensive look into the facts of the disease and the story of a driven, high-achieving business woman who wouldn't take no for an answer. I've chronicled eight years of experience with Fibro including chronic pain and fatigue, low energy, doctors, relationships and more, and hope to offer answers and support to those who seek them.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. All information presented should be regarded as friendly advice and opinions based on my own experience and research. I am not making an attempt to prescribe any medical treatment and the information contained in this blog is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a doctor or qualified health practitioner.
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