Thoughts, feelings, beliefs and activities are very important in the experience of pain. That’s why its important to know that your thoughts and the things you do when you’re in pain are all under YOUR control. By learning ways of addressing negative thoughts associated with pain, and ways of keeping active, you can take greater control of your pain and your life.
Pain is a part of being alive, and something we all share as human beings……but at the same time, it is very personal. One person’s experience of pain will not be the same as another. Two people can be in the same pain producing situation but one can be in excruciating pain, while the other experiences only a mild discomfort.
One of the reasons for this is "context" or the meaning around the situation. A professional hockey player can skate on a broken ankle in a do-or-die playoff game during a penalty kill, but the same injury in a practice round will drop him to the ice immediately.
Have you ever noticed that pain increases at times when you are unoccupied (like lying in bed at night) or when you are experiencing negative thoughts like anger or anxiety? Have you noticed when you are doing something fun or distracted by a good movie, that the pain isn’t as bad?
How automatic thoughts affect the way we feel and behave, including automatic thoughts like "this pain will never end" "I can’t do anything because of my pain!" and "what if this is the best I will ever feel"?
Shawn Achor discusses positive psychology at a TED talk.
Dr Mike Evans talks about the negative health effects of stress.
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