If you find yourself in chronic pain, consider taking action to reduce the stress in your life. Reducing stress is an important part of any pain management plan.
THE LINK BETWEEN STRESS AND PAIN
To understand this link between stress and pain, it is important to understand how stress and pain affect your body. Both stress and pain have similar effects on your body. Both elevate your heart rate and blood pressure. Both increase your breathing rate, and both cause your muscles to tighten.
When you are constantly stressed, your body stays on this alert status. Your muscles will most likely remain in a state of tension, and your blood pressure could remain high. This takes a toll on your body.
Additionally, people with anxiety disorders are at a higher risk for chronic pain. This is because people who suffer from anxiety disorders and depression often have stress on a daily basis for long periods of time. Chronic pain disorders are very common people with anxiety disorders. In fact, chronic back pain is more common among people with these disorders than people without them.
7 WAYS TO NATURALLY ELIMINATE STRESS
Meditation involves sitting or lying down comfortably and then focusing on your breath. If thoughts of pain or stress come to mind, acknowledge the thought and let it be. Don’t try to push the thought away. Let the thought pass without interacting too much with it. Try to return to your breathing. Doing 10-20 minutes of meditation a day can greatly help you reduce stress and relax.
Breathing exercises may involve inhaling for 4 seconds and exhaling for 4 seconds. You should repeat this multiple times. This will help you relax, and it should help distract your body and mind from going into a stressful mode.
Positive Self Talk
Positive self talk is another useful relaxation technique. It is also called positive thinking. This is where you avoid negative self talk or change negative thoughts into neutral or positive thoughts and words. For example, if a friend cancels plans with you, you shouldn’t see it as a negative experience. Think instead of the other fun things you can do with the free time. Positive self talk also involves not using self-limiting statements, such as “I can’t do this.” Instead, change these statements into positive questions, such as “How can I handle this?”
If you are healthy enough for exercise, a good workout can boost your mood and reduce your stress. Even low impact exercises like yoga are useful for stress reduction. Yoga can even help stretch out your muscles and reduce muscle tension.
Massage therapy is a great way to reduce muscle tension and stress. Scheduling an hour massage can do wonders for both your mind and body.
Get Enough Sleep
A good night’s sleep can do wonders for reducing stress and pain. Being well-rested helps you start your day off right and puts you in the right mindset for tackling your daily tasks. Getting too few hours of sleep, on the other hand, can leave you feeling irritable, depressed, and fatigued. A lack of sleep can even be a cause of stress itself. In order to promote healthy sleep, establish daily routines to help signal your brain that it is time to go to bed and sleep.