It is important to know about the connection between stress levels and your pain symptoms, as well as understanding that stress management can also decrease your suffering. Physically, chronic pain raises your stress levels and drains physical energy, while psychologically it affects your ability to think clearly, logically and rationally, as well as to effectively manage your feelings or emotions. Remember that in most cases if you can learn to lower your stress levels, you will also experience a decrease in your perception of pain.
It is important to learn how to self-assess your levels of stress and then learn how to develop some simple but effective stress management tools. I like to use the Gorski-CENAPS® Stress Thermometer concept. This concept proposes that there are ten levels of stress and when you get to the moderate to higher levels of stress your thinking and behavior are impacted.
Take Charge of Your Stress
Take Charge of Your Pain
Another step in stress management is to learn how to identify and challenge irrational thinking that leads to uncomfortable emotions. For example if you’re under high stress the thought might be “I can’t stand this… I need to escape.” This in turn could lead to, fear, anger, anxiety, or even cravings to use self-defeating behaviors or even inappropriate pain medication for stress relief.
The next step is to be aware of and learn how to manage those uncomfortable feelings before they lead to self-defeating urges. Developing healthy feeling management skills is very important. Learning to share with trustworthy people is one way to deal with uncomfortable emotions. If the feelings are too intense or overwhelming, counseling or therapy may be necessary.
If you want to learn more about pain management please check out our website at www.addiction-free.com. You can also find my article The Stess Pain Connection along with several other articles that you can download for free on our Ariticles page or go to our Publications page to learn about my Addiction-Free Pain Management® books.