Many people fail to realize the link between chronic pain and stress or anxiety. Everyone may have anxious thoughts and feelings, but it is very often seen in patients who experience daily chronic pain. For many of those people, their chronic pain symptoms are the reason for the anxiety, with gloom and doom thoughts that only make their pain get worse. For others, outside factors play a part in their anxiety, which triggers a heightened sense of pain. Just as diet and fitness play an important part of your overall health, so does keeping anxiety as low as possible. Here we discuss some tips to help you reduce your anxiety.
Keep a daily journal that lists when your pain happens and what was happening to you when the pain started. This can help you identify daily habits that are causing you stress and in turn increasing your pain.
Taking a break from your cell phone, iPad, and computer screen is a great way to get your mind focused and away from the smog of the online world. Make a plan to take a break everyday. Some good ideas are to sit and read a book, go outside, or do anything that you enjoy.
Think Of Accomplishments
When you are having an attack of anxiety, it is sometimes helpful to think about the good things that are happening in your life and the things you have accomplished. This helps to shift your mind from the anxious thoughts and on to something more positive.
Breathe It Out
Once anxiety has surfaced take a break to breathe. Stop what you are doing and try to clear your thoughts. Focus on your breathe. A quick an easy way to calm your breathing is to take in a deep breathe through the nose, filling your lower lungs and then the upper lungs. Count to three and then slowly release through the mouth.
Take A Walk
For many people, taking a walk can help to calm the mind. By putting yourself in a new environment you are giving yourself new things to focus on, which can help to calm your mind.
Daily exercise is a great way to help reduce your stress in the long-term, with the welcome side effect of better sleep. Try to get 30 minutes of some kind of physical exercise everyday. Many people with anxiety disorders benefit most from yoga or tai chi, which has the added benefit of calming the mind.
Mediation gives your mind a welcome break from the constant string of thoughts going through your head. Sitting and clearing your thoughts can be used as an on the spot treatment of an anxiety attach, but should also be accompanied by a daily practice. Anything from 5 to 30 minutes is fine, as long as you are taking the time for your mind to rest.