Chronic Pain and the Bad Habits That Keep Us From Feeling Better
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is identified on the bases that the origin of the pain cannot be identified making it more difficult to diagnose and treat. Chronic pain sufferers often deal with other symptoms as well, such as sleep loss, depression, and anxiety. The most devastating effect on the sufferer is that their life and daily activities are controlled by their pain.
Why are good daily habits are so important for people who suffer from chronic pain.
Good daily habits serve a twofold purpose. They help both the mind and body to become more flexible and resistant to pain. Conventional treatment, though necessary, tend to be more focused on the physical, while the emotional outlook of the patient is often ignored. Patients sense that something in their medical regiment is missing.
What is overlooked by physicians is they often fail to inform their patients that they can take an active role in their own well being. The missing ingredient is your participation.
" Of pain you could only wish one thing: that it should stop." George Orwell 1984
Chronic pain can be minimized. It can be managed. There are no guarantees it can be stopped completely without finding the root cause. If you are fortunate enough to discover the culprit of your pain, your pain is acute and is more likely to be treated or even cured. But for those who are in the chronic category all is not lost. You can get your life back, your joy back by gradually exchanging bad habits for good ones.
Rid yourself of bad habits. How does your health affect your ability to cope with pain and why it matters.
From a psychological standpoint breaking a bad habit and replacing it with a good one is the most effective way to rid of a bad habit forever. For most people, knowing this is not enough. We have to see clearly how these habits are personally affecting us and our ability to cope with pain.
John Rampton, named #2 on Top 50 online influencers in the world by Entrepreneur Magazine said it like this... " Make no mistake about it. Bad habits are called "bad" for a reason. They kill our productivity and creativity. They slow us down. They hold us back from achieving our goals. And they're detrimental to our health. "
It is the health aspect of this quote that I would like to address. Poor health is what kills our ability to muster up the energy, creativity, productivity, and motivation to add positive changes to our daily lives and improve our capacity to manage our pain. The major cause of poor health is our bad habits or lifestyle habits. Such as overeating, and spending too much time in front of the television..
Bad habits are the enemy of good health. Poor health is the enemy of the mind and body. It is the enemy of productivity and motivation. It is the enemy of sound rational thinking. It is the enemy of our finances. Finally, it is the enemy of contentment. It's a brutal cycle. Bad habits propel poor health, and poor health propels bad habits. Incorporating good habits in small steps will actually motivate you to shed your bad habits over time and increase your mental and physical resilience to pain. Plasticity plays a huge role in pain control as not all pain can be eliminated. Using our natural abilities to limit its effect on our daily lives is a monumental step in pain reduction. This is impossible if we are sabotaging our mind and body with a barrage of unhealthy activities.
Our diet, our pain, our health. The role food plays on the mind and body.
In his book, The Second Brain Dr. Michael D. Gershon explains how the gut and the brain work in sync. Now, the brain does not digest food and the gut is not making major decisions or adding math equations. It is the interaction and physical makeup of the two organs that add credence to the title of his book. Ever ride down a steep hill and feel your stomach drop? Saw something very frightening and had got bad indigestion or diarrhea? What about the butterflies when you feel with physical attraction? Your thoughts or reactions are perceived in your mind but often felt in your stomach.
Poor gut health is now implicated in a plethora of mental and physical disorders. Otherwise, what we eat affects both mind and body. Foods that are inflammatory, meat, dairy, processed foods, will have a negative effect on our internal systems causing weight gain, sluggishness, and brain fog as well as increased pain. While decreasing our ability to cope with pain. Replacing these foods with fiber ( good for the gut ) from fruits and vegetables and grains will make a dramatic difference in our health and mental clarity increasing our ability to manage our pain. Weight loss is also an added benefit.
Television, video games, computers in moderation?
The first quarter of the 2018 Nielson Total Audience Report says that almost half of adults in America spend around 11 hours a day consuming media in one form or another. One of the great concerns is that media and gaming are replacing Physical activity. Not only is the body denied natural light, but it is also deprived of its very purpose, which is, to move. We are physical beings, our brains and body respond very well to movement. Sedentary people tend to be overweight and unhealthy. This is because they are not doing what should come naturally... Moving, walking, gardening. The body is a machine built for motion. The human structure is built to walk, run, lift, throw, swim and jump. When the body is no longer allowed to function in its most natural form it begins to deteriorate. The same applies to the human brain. Motion increases blood flow to the brain. Lack of motion decreases blood flow to the brain. Why should this matter? Our brain and body cannot live without oxygen. Blood flow delivers oxygen to all the major organs in the body including the brain. Lack of motion means, lack of blood flow, hence, lack of oxygen. Our delivery system, our heart needs stimuli to pump oxygen and nutrients into our organs. In essence, our heart, our blood, our bones, our muscles, our brain are built to move, not sit.
Smoking, Alcohol and drugs... Oh my.
Everyone is well aware of the facts concerning these three evils. No one has been untouched. We all know and likely loved someone who died of heart disease or lung cancer, or of an overdose. Many have had to watch helplessly as their loved one's life has spun out of control due to alcohol and drugs. If you smoke quit, if you are addicted to drugs get help. If you drink alcohol, drink rarely in moderation.
Addiction is a killer. It not only will eventually rob you of your life. It will rob you of your health, your spouse, your children, your job and your credibility. Don't kid yourself, no one escapes the consequence of chemical addiction.
Its a cinch by the inch.
Ridding yourself of old negative habits is never easy. Replacing those bad habits increases the odds of never returning to those habits you left behind. Start simple. A daily walk. A day without meat or dairy. By taking it slow and steady you are guaranteed greater success and your ability to cope with, and even reduce your pain will improve dramatically.