10 Ways To Reduce Pain Without Pills

  1. Practice deep breathing (emphasizing slow and steady breaths deep into your stomach and diaphragm)
  2. Seek out distraction (such as engaging in hobbies or spending time with friends)
  3. Allow time for emotional venting (either talking to a professional, loved one, spiritual leader, or even to yourself in a diary)
  4. Reduce your stress (studies show that greater psychological stress leads to greater pain; consider reducing your commitments, asking for help, or improving your time management)
  5. Find meaning in the pain (many patients find that understanding the “why” makes pain more tolerable – your meaning may involve spiritual growth, improved communication of your needs, a closer connection to others socially, etc.)
  6. Discover your happy place (this sounds like a bad therapy joke, but the use of imagery – a type of daydream or fantasy – can allow you to take a mental vacation from your pain momentarily)
  7. Plan for the pain (if you know the rhythms of your body or the activities/events that trigger your pain, you can use this knowledge to structure your life in a way that avoids unnecessary pain flare-ups; in some cases, you might start this by monitoring your pain and behavior patterns, as discussed in a prior post)
  8. Engage in mindfulness (this is an Eastern practice that involves increasing your awareness of all of your senses – so, yes, you notice the pain more, but you also notice the pleasant or distracting sounds, sights, smells, and sensations that you may have missed because the pain seemed so “loud”)
  9. Plan activities (many pain patients have nothing to look forward to but more pain, but if you can anticipate a trip to the mall, a dinner with friends, an upcoming trip, etc, you can look past the pain to the next thing on your schedule – many people without pain do this to get through the work week!)
  10. Argue with yourself (sounds odd, right? – but, instead of just saying “I can’t do this,” say also “yes, but you can do that”; don’t say “I am worthless,” but say “I may be limited physically and out of work, but I am still a mother, spouse, friend, whatever” – this is a means of avoiding only focusing on one [negative] side of things)
Please share:

Leave a Reply

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)