I find that one of the most powerful ways to cope with my pain is by...
not thinking about it!
That sounds impossible, I know, so, what is this technique?
This simple technique is 'distraction'.
Pain experts now encourage patients to use this method as a valuable tool in pain management. It's a powerful way to temporarily relieve even quite severe and intense pain.
Distraction works because your mind can only concentrate on one thing at a time - On whatever it considers to be of most importance.
For distraction methods to work you need to give your mind something totally absorbing, and preferably enjoyable, to focus upon. Your mind will then think that this activity is more important than your pain.
You probably use this method already, even without knowing it. For instance, you might use the computer or watch television to 'take your mind off the pain'.
While I'm writing this newsletter, for example, I am unaware of the pain, unless, of course, I sit for too long. Then, as the pain rises, it will draw my attention away from the newsletter and on to the pain.
To avoid a pain flare-up, I set a timer for 15 or 20 minutes and move when it goes off. This way the pain doesn't get a chance to break through or increase. This method is good pacing of your activities. Pacing is an essential pain management skill.
You have no need to feel guilty about setting time aside to enjoy yourself! Distraction is a really useful pain management tool, as is pacing. By reducing the pain you are helping yourself to cope better.
Some suggestions for activities that distract
Do you have any activities where you are so focussed that you are unaware of the pain?
If so, that's great. If not, you could try some of the suggestions below.
Find out even more...
Art and crafts – any activity that uses your hands. Find out more here.
Absorb yourself in a really good book. We have some 'good read' suggestions for you here.
Go to a movie or watch television/DVD.
Write to your family/friends.
Play with a pet.
A relaxation or visualisation session – plenty available from the PainSupport website Shop here.
Listen to music through a headset or earphones. Move or tap to the rhythm too.
An adult education class or a home learning course.
Take your camera on a walk: out in the park, your garden, indoors. Take different and unusual
shots, be creative. Join our garden photo group. Find out more here.
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