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Keeping a positive outlook when in pain

Pain can affect your life in more ways than you may expect — namely on an emotional and even financial level. From causing you to feel isolated, anxious, depressed and angry, to disrupting your home and work life, your relationships, pain can limit your number of enjoyable days.

Fortunately, there are ways that may help keep your spirits up so you can maintain a positive outlook.

Carrying on in a positive light

We all have good days and bad days. But on any day, a positive view can help you face what lies ahead. To help do that, consider the following:

  • Try to manage your stress. Deep breathing can help you relax, relieve muscle tension, and calm a noisy mind. Try deep breathing alone, through yoga or meditation.
  • Try visualization. To get into a deeper state of relaxation, use as many senses as possible to imagine a place that you find calming — by a stream, on a hammock, or the comfy chair in your childhood home. Take your visualization further by seeing yourself happy while getting a task completed, being productive at work, or attending a social function. Visualize yourself happy and connecting with others.
  • Do your best to sleep. It seems that everything is better after a good night's sleep. And there's reason for that. Studies suggest that lack of sleep can cause irritability and anger, and is linked to depression. To help maintain good emotional health — including a sense of resilience and positivity — sleep can go a long way.
  • Keep a journal or diary. You can find strength and inspiration in your own words by keeping a journal. You may also find that journaling is a good way to release your feelings.
  • Get support. A support group (even an online one) is a good place to share your experience with other people who have found ways to stay positive despite being in pain.
  • Be open with friends and family. Rather than keep bottled up, share your feelings with those you trust. You may be surprised at how understanding and supportive they may be, and how much they can help keep you see the bright side of things.
  • Prepare yourself financially. Strained finances can be a source of emotional turmoil even at the best of times. To help stay positive, be proactive and realistic about your options should you have to scale back your work hours or you become jobless.

Want more information and support? Search “pain” in Find Support for organizations in your area.

Keeping a positive outlook when in pain