Chronic pain. Those two little words hold so much weight for some. And for others – nothing at all. It’s wild.
I think one of the hardest things about chronic pain is never feeling heard or understood. People always think you’re crazy, doctors included. Or maybe that’s just how you feel inside… Regardless. It’s not a nice feeling. At all.
Chronic pain is something I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. It’s really hard to describe the unrelenting physical discomfort if you haven’t experienced it to any degree, on any level. Or ever in your life.
Not only does chronic pain affect you physically…but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as well. It affects the people you work with, live with, or have any relationship with really.
When I meet people who are currently suffering with chronic pain or illess they ask me what my secrets were in dealing with it for so many years. Like many people, my chronic pain issues began with a car accident, (there were actually multiple in my case.) I’ve had multiple whiplash injuries, concussions, multiple spinal surgeries and fusions, migraines and a movement disorder. Believe me – I understand pain.
Today, I finally have my pain levels under really good control, thankfully. But like so many who suffer with chronic pain know, the road is long and lonely a lot of the time.
So you know you’re not alone, and without further ado, here are my “secrets” for beating chronic pain:
My 10 Secrets to Beat Chronic Pain:
1. Learning how to pace myself. Admittedly, I am continually working on this one, but I list it as number one because I think it has been the most beneficial for me, especially when I am diligent and truly listen to my body without trying to argue with it. 😉
2. Learning to let go. Letting go of the past, self-limiting belief systems, self-sabatoging behaviors, things and relationships that no longer serve me. I have no time for drama in my life.
3. NO is a complete sentence. Period. I had to get very comfortable using it, and without guilt or other negative feelings. Once I did, it was very liberating.
4. Stay present. Don’t look back, you’re not going that way! I would recommend this to anyone not suffering from chronic pain or illness as well! It is definitely a practice – one that takes time to become good at, but a practice I believe is so valuable for living a full, rich life.
5. No storm lasts forever. This too shall pass… I have repeated this to myself over and over again during tough times. It never seems possible while you’re in the heart of the storm, but it always does pass…
6. Just breathe. Breath is our human life force. We need it, obviously, yet anyone suffering from chronic pain or illness most likely is breathing very short and shallow, rather than slow and deep breaths using the diaphragm, or breathing muscle. Breath is always available to us, anytime, anywhere, and is a great way to calm the nervous system and help manage pain. Use breath as your anchor. It can be extremely grounding. A personal practice of mine is to ‘stop, drop, & meditate’.
7. Every day is a new day, a fresh start. Don’t beat yourself up over what happened or didn’t happen yesterday. It is what it is!
8. Every time you eat or drink it is an opportunity to either nourish your body or poison it. Remember that! Truer words have never been spoken. You are what you eat! For me personally, diet is extremely important, and I notice right away if I’ve fallen off the Farmer’s Market train, so to speak! If you are suffering from chronic pain or illness, it is especially important to be mindful of what you are putting into your body! Everything makes a difference, and a clean Anti-Inflammatory Diet can help tremendously! Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food – Hippocrates
9. It’s ok to rest! A short voluntary rest is a lot better than a forced rest later! And – you’ll enjoy it more too! This one ties back into number 1, pacing… I can’t emphasize this enough. Listening to your body is a skill set. You must toss ego out the window and practice compassion with yourself. There is a voice that doesn’t use words – listen. ~Rumi
10. Love is an inside job — love yourself first and remember there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for!
Love, light, and healing energy to you, Friends!