Pain can affect your life in more ways than you may expect. It may cause you to feel alone, anxious, depressed, and angry. It can even disrupt your home and work life, as well as your relationships. Fortunately, you can take steps to help keep your spirits up and maintain a positive outlook:
- Try to manage your stress. Deep breathing can help you relax, relieve muscle tension, and calm a noisy mind. Try deep breathing alone or with yoga or meditation.
- Try visualisation. To get into a deeper state of relaxation, use as many of your senses as possible to imagine a place you find calming. It may be by a stream, on a hammock, or in a comfy chair in your childhood home. Then, visualise yourself getting a task completed, being productive at work, or attending a social function. Visualise yourself happy and connecting with others.
- Do your best to sleep. Everything seems better after a good night's sleep. And there's reason for that. Studies suggest that lack of sleep can cause irritability and anger and is linked to depression. Sleep can help maintain emotional health, including a sense of resilience and positivity.
- Keep a journal or diary. You can find strength and inspiration in your own words by keeping a journal. You may also find that journaling helps release your feelings.
- Get support. In a support group (even an online one), you can share your experience with others who have found ways to stay positive despite being in pain.
- Be open with friends and family. Don’t keep everything bottled up. Instead, share your feelings with those you trust. You may be surprised at how understanding and supportive they may be. They may also help you see the bright side of things.
- Prepare yourself financially. Strained finances can cause emotional turmoil even at the best of times. To help stay positive, be proactive and realistic about your options should you have to scale back your work hours or you become unemployed.
- Seek professional help. Talk to your doctor about a referral to a psychologist.