When people hear the words “pain” and “positivity” in the same sentence, they often react with “No way–that’s an oxymoron!” But the two experiences don’t have to be mutually exclusive!
Let me explain.
Recently, I threw out my back. Not the simple tweak (i.e., ice pack, anti-inflammatory, and a day of rest to relieve the discomfort), but rather the kind that inspires the all-out reaction of, “OMG–will I ever be able to walk pain-free again?!” By the 10th day of barely being able to care for myself without crying out in agony, my mind went to some pretty dark places. Fortunately, I’m one of the lucky ones since my back-condition only yields acute-pain (i.e., temporary rather than chronic). Plus, I have considerable control over flare-ups based on how I treat my body. But pain is pain and what I learned is that our mind-set and our actions toward pain directly correlate with how we end up feeling. Hence, if we approach pain with doom and gloom, our pain might worsen. But if we stay hopeful and create proactive solutions, we might very well find ourselves feeling less pain!
While my heart goes out to anyone who experiences suffering and I certainly understand that simple quick fix tips won’t help everyone, for those who experience temporary discomfort (be it physical or even emotional), below are some ideas/actions on how to turn negative thoughts surrounding pain into some level of positivity.
- Release your negative thoughts to the Universe. You can do this by journaling and then burning the paper. Or create any ritual of expression, followed by an action of cleansing.
- Make a gratitude list. No matter how dire your situation- if you are still breathing – you continue to have the gift of life. Don’t undervalue it.
- State five positive affirmations and shout them aloud five times per day. These don’t have to be grandiose like “I’m the coolest person on the planet” just realistic and positive. For instance, you might say- “Regardless of my pain, I still remain a generous person.”
- Say “NO” to dark thoughts! Remember, a thought is just a thought unless you fuel it by action. So if you have a negative thought, visualize a stop sign and a detour onto a new path. Move away from negativity and take the route of positivity.
- Ask for help when you need it. I know so many people who practice the “suck-it-up method” instead of the “I could really use your help” method. Of course, we want to spread out the requests so we don’t burn out any one person. But keep in mind that friends are not just for fair-weather but also for the stormy times!
- Seek proper medical advice. Whether you practice Eastern, Western, or some other type of medical philosophy – pursue all remedies available and choose the ones best suited for your situation.
- Practice prevention. Do everything you can on a daily basis to keep your body and mind strong and healthy. Sometimes we have to push through our pain; and other times, we need to pamper ourselves. Learn what’s better for you.
Most importantly, remember that a little bit of light can go along way!