You can Change Your Perception of Pain!
The psychological meaning that you assign to a physical pain signal will determine whether you simply feel pain (“Ouch, this hurts!”) or experience suffering (“Because I hurt, something awful or terrible is happening!”). Although pain and suffering are often used interchangeably, there is an important distinction that needs to be made. Pain is an unpleasant signal telling you that something is wrong with your body. Suffering results from the meaning or interpretation your brain assigns to the pain signal—your perception of pain.
The Three Parts of Pain
A signal that something is going wrong with your body
The meaning that your brain assigns to the pain signal
The approved “sick” role assigned by society concerning your pain
Many people irrationally believe that: “I shouldn’t have pain!” or “Because I have pain and I’m having trouble managing my pain, there must be something wrong with me.” A big step toward effective pain management occurs when you can reduce your level of suffering by identifying and changing your irrational thinking and beliefs about the pain, which in turn decreases your stress and overall suffering.
Using a Two-Part Approach: Physiological and Psychological
Because of the two parts—pain and suffering—pain management must also have two components: physical and psychological. The way you sense or experience pain—its intensity and duration—will affect how well you are able to manage it. Anticipatory Pain (what you fear or expect your pain will be) is also a major psychological factor that must be addressed. The research on recovery from chronic pain is very clear. The people that are most likely to successfully manage their pain do so by becoming proactively involved in their own treatment process. The chances of success go up as you learn as much as possible about your pain and effective pain management.
To learn more about pain and effectivce chronic pain management check out my article The Need for Multidisciplinary Chronic Pain Management that you can download for free on our Article page.
If you’d like to receive training for helping people with chronic pain and coexisting disorders, including addiction, I’m very excited to announce we are presenting my Addiction-Free Pain Management® Certification Training in Sacramento on August 5-7, 2010. To learn more about this and my other upcoming trainings you can check out our Calendar page.
You can learn about the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System at our website www.addiction-free.com. If you are working with people undergoing chronic pain management and want to learn how to develop a plan for managing their chronic pain and coexisting psychological disorders; including depression, addiction and other coexisting psychological disorders effectively; please consider my book Managing Pain and Coexisting Disorders: Using the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System. To purchase this book please Click Here.
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