As you probably know if you are a chronic pain sufferer, it is not always possible to get rid of it entirely. However, this does not mean that you should feel out of hope. There are simple lifestyle changes you can make that will help ease the burden, reduce the severity and frequency of the pain, and help you to deal with it better on a regular basis.
Everyday Tips For Coping With Pain
There are things you can do every day that help you cope with your chronic pain. Some things you might already be doing, while others are good to start getting into the normal practice of. It is important that you keep trying to make changes in your life for proper pain management and mental health.
Try to Reduce Your Stress Levels
Stress has such a large impact on nearly every facet of your life, including your chronic pain. Regardless of where your pain comes from, stress is likely to trigger flare-ups and make it a lot worse. The best thing you can do is figure out what is causing your stress and work to reduce it. This might be spending time with people who tend to cause personal stress, work or financial stress that can be avoided, or simply living a more organized life to avoid personal, everyday stress.
Get Those Endorphins
Sure, you may not love exercise, but exercise loves you! It isn’t just good for controlling your weight or burning calories, but it can help to promote blood flow that helps reduce your risk for heart disease and high blood pressure. It also helps to release endorphins, the happy chemicals in your brain. When this happens, you not only reduce stress, but you can improve your mood and be able to handle your chronic pain a lot better. Plus, certain sources of chronic pain are reduced when you are moving your body more often, like mild forms of arthritis. There are many reasons to start exercising more often.
Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
Drinking alcohol may temporarily reduce your pain, but it is only hurting you in the long run. Not only is there a risk of addiction, but alcohol can get in the way of your sleep. Sleeping is extremely important when you are trying to cope with chronic pain, so you don’t want to get into the habit of putting a Band-aid on the pain with alcohol every day. Plus, alcohol is a depressant, so it can make your mood highs and lows a lot worse.
Join a Support Group
Chronic pain is not something to take lightly. It is easy to become overwhelmed by it and let it ruin your life. Unfortunately, even those who love you might not understand what it is like until they have gone through the same thing. It might be better to reach out to others also experiencing chronic pain with a support group.
Find Ways to Lessen Your Stress
Stress has a strong link with chronic pain, making it worse and keeping you from finding relief from the pain. If you are under a lot of stress, whether financial, personal or work stress, it is a lot harder to get control over the pain on a daily basis. A good lifestyle change to make is to find daily ways to manage your stress, whether it means getting help at work when you become overwhelmed, dealing with toxic people in your life, or trying to get a better handle on your finances.
Be Careful With Your Dietary Choices
What you eat or drink can also have a large impact on your pain level. If your pain is related to inflammation, you need to cut back on fried foods, red meat, and refined carbs, and go for fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. Cut back on alcohol and smoking, and drink more water. These are healthy changes not only for your weight management and general wellness, but for reducing your chronic pain as well.
In general, exercising is very good for you, so it should come as no surprise that it is recommended when you have chronic pain. However, not only does exercising help with the pain, exercising outdoors helps even more. This helps distract your mind from the pain, allowing you to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, be a little more social, and take in your surroundings. While on a scenic hike, you momentarily become transfixed in the surroundings and your pain subsides, even if just for a moment. This makes a big difference for anyone with chronic pain.
Explore Ways to Relax More
Relaxing your body and mind is important for managing chronic pain on a daily basis. Find things to help you unwind at the end of a long day or de-stress, whether that means taking a bath, enjoying a movie with your family, or getting out an adult coloring book.