Updated: Sep 27
Dealing with chronic widespread fibromyalgia pain can take a massive toll on your emotional and mental state of being. You may feel stressed by your pain and may even suffer from depression because it affects all areas of your life and your ability to do normal daily living activities.
There are ways to improve your emotional and mental state when you are living with chronic pain. Here are some helpful tips:
Use a heated blanket
Chronic pain often feels worse when exposed to the cold. However, if you snuggle under a heating blanket, especially with a good book, you can lift your spirits and improve your emotional state. When you are more comfortable, you think less of your chronic pain and can feel emotionally better.
Get a massage
Ensure the massage therapist knows you are dealing with chronic pain and ask them to give you a gentle massage. Massages are known to reduce pain and decrease stress levels. When you are more comfortable and have been a little pampered, you'll feel better physically and emotionally.
Yoga is an ancient form of exercise good for chronic pain, just as it is suitable for people who do not have chronic pain. Choose a yoga style, such as Hatha yoga, that is gentle on your joints and the rest of your body. Yoga practice will relax you and will make you feel better on a physical and emotional level.
Use positive affirmations to reprogram your mind towards a positive mindset. Affirmations can help you accept your life, meaning more peace of mind and a better quality of life.
Practice Qi Gong
Qi Gong is another ancient form of exercise brought to the West from ancient China. Initially a form of martial arts, it is a good exercise for people who have chronic pain. It involves smooth, fluid movements and is simple enough that anyone can learn it, and it can even be practiced by those who cannot even get out of bed because of their pain. In addition, it's known to help reduce stress and improve emotional health.
Attend a support group
Many large hospitals and HMOs have support groups for people who have chronic pain and other conditions. When you can share your story of chronic pain with others and get support around dealing with chronic pain, you feel better, and you know that you are not alone in your struggle with pain.
Mediation requires no active physical activity, and you can do it sitting up or lying down. While focusing on relaxing your muscles and controlling your breath, your stress level goes way down, and you feel more relaxed. In addition, you may find that you think less about your chronic pain and more inner peace when you do meditation. The best part about mediation is that anyone can learn it, and you can do meditation almost anywhere.
See a therapist
When you are dealing with chronic pain, it often causes depression and anxiety. If you can find a compassionate therapist who will listen to your concerns regarding the pain you experience, you can better manage your depression and anxiety. Therapists can also help you devise coping skills to practice daily to improve your spirits and enhance your mental health.
Practice Tai Chi
Tai Chi is an ancient form of Chinese martial arts. It is now a practice mainly used for healing. It involves doing fluid movements in tune with your breath and reducing stress, improving balance, and improving pain perceptions in dealing with chronic pain.
Consider an antidepressant
Discuss with your primary care physician if taking an antidepressant could benefit you, if you suffer from chronic pain and feel that it's affecting your mental and emotional state. Some of the older antidepressants called tricyclic antidepressants are helpful for people with pain issues and depressive issues. Some of the newer SSRI antidepressants can be used for chronic pain to relieve underlying depression associated with having pain every day.
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