Alleviating chronic pain can sometimes be difficult. Chronic pain sufferers often feel they need to change their lifestyle because the pain can be unbearable. Have you ever had a headache, but sat down to watch Netflix and eventually forgot about your headache? Simple distractions may not seem like much when it comes to alleviating chronic pain, but they can and do work.
Watch TV – Do you have a favorite TV show or movie? Turn on Netflix and catch up on your favorite shows or watch a movie you have in your library. This simple distractor can get your mind off of the pain. It would be even better to watch a comedy. Laughter causes endorphins (feel-good brain chemicals) to be released. These endorphins give us a “buzz” allowing us to ignore pain.
Read a Book – Reading a good book can take your mind to another world. Find a book that you know will keep your interest. Whether it’s sci-fi, romance, mystery or fiction, it will give you something else to think about.
Meditate – Meditation has been shown to reduce (sometimes significantly) pain intensity. Meditation can also reduce stress which can also reduce pain. Practicing meditation helps teach your brain how to react to pain.
Listen to Music – Ever listen to a song and receive a flood of wonderful memories? Many alternative treatments include music therapy. Music produces sensory stimulation that evokes a response in people. Music also promotes relaxation, rest and rhythmic breathing.
Hobbies – Do you have a favorite hobby? What about painting, knitting, drawing or writing? A happier brain feels less pain. Doing a hobby you enjoy can release positive brain chemicals. If you aren’t capable of doing your hobby due to new physical restrictions, try to think of ways to work around those limitations. Or, learn something new. It is never too late to learn something you’ve always wanted to learn.
Talk to a Friend or Relative – Whether you have a support group or someone to call on the phone, talking to someone is a great stress reliever. Contact someone who will listen to you vent or someone who can make you laugh when needed. We live in a world that loves to text, tweet and Facebook message, but there is nothing like hearing someone’s voice.
Please be advise that the above tips are only for mentally distracting yourself from pain. Pain is likely to recur, but at times be less intense. If your physician has prescribed medication or other alternative treatments to manage chronic pain, do not deviate from those instructions. These tips can easily be incorporated into your daily routine and not meant to replace.