An important tool for managing pain is to stay connected and involved with the people and world around you.
It can be very easy to stop doing the things you enjoy when you’re living with pain. You may worry that some activities will make your pain worse, or that you won’t be able to participate as well as you have in the past. On days when your pain is intense, or you’re feeling tired or frustrated, these negative thoughts and worries have the potential to keep you from the things you love. Pain becomes your focus.
That’s why it’s important to work hard to stay connected to those around you. Focus on doing activities that make you happy such as catching up with friends, participating in sporting and social clubs, working, discovering new hobbies, volunteering, exploring the world or just getting out and about with your family. These connections can help you manage your pain better. They engage your mind and energy and distract you from the pain. Pain is no longer your sole focus. If you find that it’s difficult to do some of the things that you used to do, focus more on a few activities that you really enjoy.
The important thing is that when you keep doing things you enjoy, you stay connected and involved. This is what makes our lives rich, colourful and exciting. Important noteIf you’re struggling with negative emotions and you’re finding it difficult to stay connected, talk with someone you trust. Whether it’s a close friend or family member, your doctor or a mental health professional (e.g. psychologist or psychiatrist), talking about the problem, and getting support and advice may be what you need to help you move on.
If you’re thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis call Lifeline on 13 11 14.