Can we reduce the amount of pain we feel by manipulating our thoughts?
A small study published in the Journal of Pain confirmed that it may be possible. A five minute cognitive behavioral therapy session reduced pain by almost 40% in volunteers who had heat applied to their arms. 1
How can we use our brains to lessen pain?
Close your eyes and focus on a calming place or event. Envision a personal paradise. Some people like to imagine themselves listening to the gentle waves on a beach. Other people picture the comfort of a cozy blanket and warm fireplace. Take slow deep breaths to further help your body and mind relax.
By understanding your triggers.
Maintaining a daily pain journal will help you beat your pain. Keeping detailed records (date/time, severity, duration, potential causes, etc) allows you to narrow down your potential pain triggers. Similarly, tracking the results of the therapies you’ve tried allows you to find what works for you.
Your journal will reveal unique information about your pain. Empower yourself by using this information to eliminate triggers that worsen your pain and maximize therapies that ease your pain.
- Last, FI, Last, FI. Title. Journal abbreviation, 2012 December 05;94(23):2161-2166.