Chronic pain can be made worse by stress, anxiety, and depression. Not only can our negative emotions and mental state make pain worse, but pain can make us more depressed, stressed, and anxious. This can create a vicious cycle of chronic pain and chronic depression or anxiety. However, there are ways to help you cope with the stress and anxiety and make you feel better. In the long run, this can help with managing your chronic pain.
5 Ways to Distract Yourself from Pain and Reduce Stress
Not only is it important to reduce your stress and anxiety for your pain management plan, but it is also important to find healthy distractions. When you are focused on something other than your pain, your pain and stress levels can decrease. Here are 5 healthy distractions to consider.
A breath of fresh air and a nice walk outside could do wonders for both your body and mind. According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan, group nature walks are linked to lower depression, less stress, and an enhanced well-being and overall mental health. Consider taking your significant other or your best friend on daily walks. Not only will you be able to enjoy the outdoors, but you’ll get to spend quality time with the person.
Did you know that reading for pleasure can have a positive impact on your well-being and mental health? A study conducted by The Reading Agency found that “reading for pleasure can increase empathy, improve relationships with others, reduce the symptoms of depression and improve wellbeing throughout life.” What’s great about this is that all ages can benefit from reading!
Physical contact is an important part of what it means to be human. Unfortunately, in today’s modern and technological society, non-sexual physical touch is becoming less common. However, hugs, handshakes, and a pat on the back are an important part of how humans communicate with one another.
Touch also plays a huge role in the development of babies and children, which affects them later on as adults. Positive touch early on can lead to less violence, better overall health, and a better ability to trust others. Additionally, touch - like a hug or gentle touch on the arm - can lead to the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin is a powerful hormone that helps people bond. It also helps with forming trust and reducing depressive feelings.
Who doesn’t like a good laugh? We feel great after chuckling with our friends and family! Well, one study found that humor therapy can help reduce pain and stress and increase happiness. The study split a group of older adults into two groups - those who would receive humor therapy for 8 weeks and those who would not.
Once the study was finished, the researchers found that participants in the humor therapy program had significant decreases in pain and perception of loneliness when compared to the group that did not have the therapy. The researchers also found that the humor therapy participants had significant increases in life satisfaction and happiness.
What does this mean for you? Find something fun to laugh about and find someone to laugh with. Funny movies, comedy nights, and jokes are all great places to start.
Animal companionship can provide comfort and joy to those in pain and to those who have anxiety and depression disorders. In fact, according to a Human-Animal Bond Research Institute survey, almost three quarters of pet owners say that having a pet has improved their mental health and wellbeing.
Pets help with depression by providing companionship. This is important if you often feel lonely and isolated. Also, knowing that you have to regularly feed, bathe, and exercise your pet gives you a sense of purpose. Finally, it’s important to not overlook the benefits of petting your pet. Petting your dog or cat can do wonders for a stressed mind.
Both dogs and cats can make great companions. Dogs are typically higher maintenance, while cats are usually lower maintenance and often more independant.
Improve Your Pain Management Approach
Including one or more of these healthy distractions into your pain management program can contribute to a better outcome. If you are looking for Las Vegas pain management doctors, contact Apex Medical Center! We have 3 convenient locations. Book an appointment online or call.