Chronic pain can affect your life in more ways than you may expect. While you may have good days and bad days, pain may cause you to feel sad, angry, anxious, and hopeless. It may even disrupt your family and work life and take a toll on your physical and mental health, limiting what you can do at work and leisure. People with chronic pain also report feeling that those around them don’t often understand how pain impacts their quality of life. This can lead to negative feelings such as frustration and resentment and can also increase stress levels. While medical treatments, physical therapy, and even surgery are important tools to help relieve chronic pain, it’s important to take steps to manage the effects that pain has on you. Read the article till the end to find the solutions that will help you out.
Is there the Influence of Positivity?
Many people doubt the influence of positivity, believing hope does not prepare people for challenges in daily life – because scientific evidence demonstrates just the contrary. Treating a mental health condition is more complicated than simply learning to look on the bright side. Still, we’re not talking about adopting a super sunny persona so that your mental illness magically disappears.
You cannot think any more about a way out of mental illness than you can walk off a broken foot, but that doesn’t mean the power of positive thinking isn’t true. Just as physical therapy will help you heal from an operation or injury, it may boost your mental well-being by training your mind to think more positively in time.
Take a break from emotional wellbeing
Remember that all emotions, whether positive or negative, are adaptive in the right circumstances. The key to unleashing the power of positivity is finding a balance between the two. That doesn’t mean feeling guilty when you find yourself locked in a negative thought spiral or shaming yourself for not being able to think positively. Instead, try to treat positivity as a mental wellbeing break – a chance to restore yourself away from negative influences in your life, even if they arise in your brain.
A positive mindset improves physical wellbeing
One way to improve your mental health is to improve your physical health. You might not realize this, but the way you think impacts your physical health. People who tend to have a positive attitude reap the benefits of better physical health. Here are some of the ways being an optimist can make you healthier:
- People who focus on the positive tend to live longer than those who would describe their glass as half-empty.
- Optimists have less overall inflammation than pessimists.
- People who have a positive attitude get better sleep, eat better, and exercise more than those who have a negative attitude. All of these self-care activities lend to better physical and mental health. For example, sleep deficiency can be linked to anxiety and getting enough exercise. It has been proven to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
A positive mindset improves the wellbeing of the mind
Approximately one in five adults suffers from a mental health issue like anxiety or depression at any given time. While a positive outlook can’t prevent all mental health conditions, it can reduce your risk of developing depression, overthinking, and anxiety. One reason for this is that by focusing on the good things that happen. You naturally spend less time dwelling on the bad things and ruminating about the less pleasant part of life. Everyone goes through hard times; those who tend to be optimistic often get through them more easily.
If you do develop depression or anxiety, and you have cognitive behavioural therapy, your therapist will likely walk you through ways that you can focus on some of the positives of whatever situations you are dealing with. If you do this as a matter of habit, it can make overcoming these mental health issues easier and allow you to recover more quickly. People with a more positive mindset are also likely to use healthy coping mechanisms rather than rely on substance use/abuse or overeating to deal with setbacks.
A Positive Attitude Improves Your Relationships
Having a positive frame of mind can also help you cultivate relationships. Some of this is intuitive: Would you rather hang around with someone who had a sunny disposition or someone who always saw the clouds but never the silver linings? You probably already know that smiling is contagious; those who look happier and focus on the positive tend to have more friends. A positive attitude can also help you get through difficulties with your spouse or partner. All of this can equal more supportive and intimate relationships, which, in turn, can improve your mental health.
How can the power of positive thinking be unleashed?
“The mind is its place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” –John Milton, Paradise Lost.
Positive thinking is not just for those living with mental illness.
“The Hidden Driver of Excellence, learning to see through a positive lens helps promote joy and motivation in all areas of life”Goleman’s book, Focus
Goleman maintains that you need both a negative and positive focus to survive, but in the right ratio. Those who suffer from depression, in particular, often have a skewed balance of positivity and negativity, or they tend to place more emphasis on negative thoughts; which is why understanding the power of positivity can be life-changing.
Have you ever met someone who you would describe as always seeing the glass as half-full? You might have thought that this type of positive attitude was just inherent in some people’s personalities, but did you know that having a positive attitude can improve your health? People who are optimists tend to have better physical and mental health. If you’ve ever wished you could be more positive, here is some more fuel to add to your fire. Besides, you’ll find some tips on cultivating a more positive attitude in your own life.
Coping with chronic pain
The following tips can help you deal with your chronic pain:
Try to manage your stress
Negative feelings may impact the intensity of pain. Finding healthy ways to deal with stress may help you find some relief from pain. For example, deep breathing can help you relax, relieve tension, and calm a noisy mind. Try deep breathing alone or with yoga or meditation.
Stay active and involved
By doing activities you enjoy, you can focus on something other than pain. Take up a new hobby or get involved in community-based activities. Make sure you know your limits—be realistic about what you can handle.
Focusing on the positive can make you feel better. Think about any improvements you may notice in your pain and the steps you are taking to deal with it.
To get into a deep state of relaxation, use as many of your senses as possible to imagine a place you find calming. For example, you can picture yourself sitting by a stream, on a hammock, or in a comfy chair in your childhood home. This can help you to focus on feeling relaxed instead of stressed.
Do your best to sleep
Everything seems better after a good night’s sleep. And there’s a reason for that. Lack of sleep can lead to irritability, anxiety, and depression. On the other hand, getting enough sleep (7 to 8 hours a night for most adults) can help you stay healthy, think more clearly, improve your mood, and reduce stress.
Keep a journal or diary
You can find strength and inspiration in your own words by keeping a journal. You may also find that journaling can help you take charge of your thoughts and improve your decision-making skills.
In a support group (even an online one), you can share your experience with others who have found ways to stay positive despite being in pain. This may help you understand that you are not alone.
Be open with friends and family.
When you isolate yourself from others due to pain, you may have a negative attitude which can make your pain feel worse. Find activities and hobbies to keep you connected with friends and family. Also, don’t keep everything bottled up. Instead, share your feelings with those you trust. You may be surprised at how understanding and supportive they may be. They may also help you see the bright side of things.
A Positive Attitude Can Be Cultivated
If you are feeling a bit of despair because you feel that you’re not naturally optimistic, have no worries: You can cultivate a positive attitude by integrating some of these tips into your life:
Keep an optimistic company
You might have heard the common wisdom that you are the sum of the five people closest to you. What this means is that you’re likely to pick up on the quirks and habits of the people you spend the most time with. If you are surrounding yourself with optimists, it’s nearly certain that you will begin to have a rosier outlook on life. On the other hand, if your closest friends are pessimistic, you might have a harder time being optimistic.
Think about your positive attributes
Follow the rule that if you can’t say anything nice to yourself, don’t say anything at all. You might already follow this guideline when dealing with other people, particularly strangers and acquaintances, but many of us tend to be harder on ourselves than on anyone else. Instead of berating yourself when things go wrong, think about your positive attributes and how you could apply them to your current situation.
Look for ways that you can think of challenges as opportunities.
For example, instead of being afraid of change because you’ve never experienced a certain situation before, consider it an opportunity to learn something new. Being open to new experiences can help you see things in a different, more positive light.
Cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
Each day, look for something to be thankful for. Write it down in a gratitude journal. In several weeks, you’ll be able to look back at dozens of silver linings that you have found in everyday events.
So concluding the whole article, You can improve your physical and mental health by looking for ways to be more positive. But what if you’re naturally more pessimistic, meaning that you tend to expect the worst? No worries. It may help to see this positive thinking as a skill you can learn and benefit from. Rather than a personality trait you either have, or you don’t. There’s research on this, too. In one experiment, adults who meditated daily on positive thoughts started feeling more upbeat emotions each day. Other studies have shown that positive thinking helps people manage illness and eases depression, regardless of whether they are naturally optimistic or pessimistic. So Let’s start from today. Stay optimistic and live a healthy life.