Living with chronic pain honestly sucks, but finding activities or ways of coping with the pain, hopefully to alleviate it or even to just distract from it would be great. Buddha once said, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” Physical pain has a way of affecting our minds too, especially when it’s chronic. For those of you dealing with such pain, you don’t need to be told what it feels like, but maybe becoming more informed in how that pain can be lessened or hopefully at least not at the forefront of your thoughts is something to look into.  As ACSM says, “Exercise is medicine.” Being active and increasing your daily exercise works for chronic pain managers. Depending on what kind of pain you have, your fitness lifestyle can vary and will be different from those around you. Your pain is not who you are and you mustn’t let it dictate your overall wellbeing. You can still have pain, but adapt ways to get active and subscribe to fitness. Not only does exercise help keep you fit, but it helps to keep us happy and satisfied due to endorphins being released!

Additional ways to help manage your pain could be through meditation. Meditation is a wonderful way to become mindful and organize your thoughts. This way of managing pain truly helps to relax you even just for 12 minutes. Accompany your sessions with music that puts you in a good mood and relaxes you. You don’t have to sit upright, try lying down and being present.

To bring together physical fitness and meditation, try partaking in some yoga – if you already haven’t. No need to go all out and go right for the more advanced poses (and don’t worry if you can’t); try some of the more simple poses like downward dog, or child’s pose, or the cat/cow pose. Remember to breathe as in meditation too. Prana (your breath) is one of the underlying bases for yoga and meditation. Just breathing can help to manage and maintain your chronic pain by becoming aware and more mindful of not just your body, but also your mind.

Chronic pain is more than just a pain in your butt, though, coming to a truce with it and admitting you have it can help to confront it, and hopefully overall help to lessen the suffering you may have. Staying strong and positive is hard, but you most definitely have it in you if you choose tools that work for you.

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