What we believe and think create our reality. Our mental health is key to management and yes, even recovery from chronic pain and from the emotional suffering of a life limiting illness.
Thoughts, feelings, beliefs and activities are very important in the experience of pain. That’s why its important to know that your thoughts and the things you do when you’re in pain are all under YOUR control. By learning ways of addressing negative thoughts associated with pain, and ways of keeping active, you can take greater control of your pain and your life.
Pain is a part of being alive, and something we all share as human beings……but at the same time, it is very personal. Two people can be in the same pain producing situation but one can be in excruciating pain, while the other experiences only a mild discomfort.
One of the reasons for this is "context" or the meaning around the situation. A professional hockey player can skate on a broken ankle in a do-or-die playoff game during a penalty kill, but the same injury in a practice round will drop him to the ice immediately.
Change your mood by changing your behaviours. Read more about how CBT works for chronic pain here.
This online course from Australia can be prescribed for you.
This Canadian online course is only $45 in total.
CBT references something called "automatic thoughts" and you can learn more about this with this video.
Positive psychology focuses on the good in your life, and the study of what makes life worth living. Read more about what positive psychology is here, watch a video on it below, or access an android phone app here that focuses on affirmations.
Feeling adventurous? Take the famous course from Yale at Coursera on Well-Being.
Proven techniques to reduce stress and pain and become more connected to the present moment (important if you suffer from anxiety or PTSD) include meditation, guided imagery, body scans, and body movement. Read more here from Harvard Medical School, learn guided imagery techniques here, download a workbook on stress reduction here and experience guided meditations with Tara Brach.
Anxiety Canada has lots of information, apps, worksheets and videos for dealing with anxiety.
UCPC Chronic Pain Toolkit has a list of resources specific to Saskatchewan residents.
Wellness Together is a Canadian support for anyone with mental health or substance use concerns and offers free live counseling by phone or by text.
TogetherAll is an online anonymous peer support community for mental health.
Online therapy from the University of Regina is available free of charge.
This Australian website offers a lot of information on a number of mental health conditions.
We know that trauma can have long lasting affects on the body and mind. Treating your trauma can also help your health.
PTSD can overlap with chronic pain. The US Department of Veterans Affairs has the best PTSD website out there. Wondering if trauma is contributing to your pain? See more here.
Automatic thoughts affect the way we feel and behave, including automatic thoughts like "this pain will never end" "I can’t do anything because of my pain!" and "what if this is the best I will ever feel"?