When the skies are grey and it’s damp and cold outside we can feel down in the dumps even without any pain but for people who suffer chronic pain the dull outside can reflect on the inside and make pain feel worse.
So, to stop the pain from getting the better of you, you need to think of some reasons why the pain you are in is actually an acceptable pain because you will benefit from it in some way. Pain is actually a necessary part of happiness and research has actually shown that it can in fact lead to pleasure in several ways.
A few easy reasons why pain can actually help you recognise pleasure, are that it can form social bonds, it can give you permission to treat or reward yourself, it shows that experiencing relief from pain not only increases our feelings of happiness, but also reduces our feelings of sadness.
Stress and pain can also stimulate the serotonin and melatonin production in the brain, which transforms painful experiences into pleasure. Common sense tells us that people seek pleasure and avoid pain. But that’s not always the case – various activities involve pain, including running, hot massages, tattoos, piercings etc.
We need the sensation of pain to let us know when our bodies need extra care. It’s an important signal. When we sense pain, we pay attention to our bodies and can take steps to fix what hurts. Pain also may prevent us from injuring a body part even more.
Science News explains that “Pain protects us. When you touch a hot stove, you recoil in pain. That sensation helps you avoid getting a burn that could be dangerous — even deadly. The throbbing of a broken foot tells you to stay off it until it heals, so you don’t do more damage. Without those signals, we’d all be in trouble. Big trouble.”
However, does pain serve a purpose? Well, according to ABC News, To be sure, individuals can gain confidence and pride by pushing themselves to complete marathons or other demanding physical challenges. But enduring pain or stress injuries on a regular basis serves no good purpose for the body or soul, researchers say. But good pain is the body’s warning system, it’s the pain that warns you that you are definitely going to have a bad day today or something is seriously wrong with you.
ABC News goes on to say that “When treating pain, patients and their primary care doctors too often overlook the distinction between good pain and bad pain, many specialists say. Patients want to know exactly what’s causing their pain, and physicians often go looking for an underlying physical cause. But this is often the wrong approach. “In many cases, the pain itself is the disease,” Covington said.”
People with fibromyalgia have precious little to show for their suffering. They have no swelling, inflammation, limp or deformity. Blood tests, X-rays, scans and biopsies are normal. Theirs is a subjective illness. They find that family and friends eventually tire of hearing about their intractable pain and its impacts. Little wonder that depression and anxiety are common complications as the pain is most definitely real.
The NHS has a list of ten good ways to help get rid of your pain.
- Get some gentle exercise
- Breathe right to ease pain
- Read books and leaflets on pain
- Counselling can help
- Distract yourself
- Relax to beat pain
- Get lots of sleep
- Take a course
- Keep in touch with family and friends
- Share your story about pain
Reading through the NHS list I realised that I had tried every single one of them and most I practice all the time. If it’s not raining or too cold I will always try and get a walk outside as my exercise every day. I use breathing exercises if my pain wakes me up in the night and I read lots of books on the subject (obviously) which helps my posts on this blog. I had counselling once after a near death experience and the GP gave me hypnosis which worked amazing. I have trouble sleeping so always try and get an afternoon rest. I have done lots of courses and definitely think hobbies are a great way to help pain. I always keep in touch with my family and friends. They are what I get up for in a morning. I also like relaxing to help my pain and seem to have that as part of my day.
The final one on the list is sharing your story about pain. Well, I can vouch for this in a big way, it was writing about my pain that got me started on this blog and I have never looked back since. What I would love is to hear from others with their story or maybe a day in their life while coping with pain. If you know someone who might like to share this with me please get them to get in touch.