For people suffering from chronic pain, dealing with other daily problems can be tiring. Beyond the feeling of physical discomfort, people also have to deal with the complex and equally exhausting psychological and emotional aspects of living with chronic pain, which is not easy.
People living with chronic pain also have a heated debate between those who are experts in pain and those living with pain. disaster pain They also have to deal with negative thoughts, also known as.
So why controversy arises on this issue? The reason is obvious, the words disastrous to pain sound scary and can be perceived as preconception by those who live with pain. Therefore, it may be better to choose negative thinking or negative thinking terms because everyone has negative thoughts. This is part of being human, whether you have pain or not.
The disaster concept was developed by Albert Ellis in 1962, after which the concept of disaster pain was corrected and re-explained by the psychologist Michael Sullivan.
In negative thoughts related to pain, it is generally thought that pain has three characteristics:
1- The pain will last forever,
2- The pain is unmanageable,
3- Pain cannot be cured.
Realizing these makes us realize that experiencing pain is much more complex and layered than sensing pain physically. In addition to a physical disability, negative thinking (catastrophizing pain) also affects self-efficacy and activity in social situations.
While negative thoughts about pain are specific to the person with pain, there are a few common signs that negative thinking affects your quality of life:
- Magnification: Magnifying the strength of the pain and the likelihood of it getting worse
- Don’t think about constant pain: Constantly thinking about pain and allowing it to be distracted
- Despair: Losing hope of treating and overcoming pain
Some of the negative thoughts associated with persistent pain include:
“I’m constantly worried about when my pain will end.”
“I keep thinking about other issues that cause pain.”
“I can’t get my pain out of my mind.”
“I keep thinking about how much it hurts me.”
“I wonder if my pain will have a serious consequence.”
It is normal for people to have such thoughts when they are not able to get help from qualified and compassionate experts who understand the pain while they are dealing with the pain. However, negative self-talk can have a profound effect on our physical and mental health and can cause serious harm to us.
Negative self-talk is also closely related to higher levels of stress and less self-esteem. This can lead to a decrease in motivation as well as a feeling of helplessness. This is the reason why depression and / or anxiety are more common and suicidal tendency is more common in people with chronic pain. However, there is hope for breaking the chain of negative thoughts ever since people began to recognize and acknowledge the ways in which pain manifests emotionally and physically.
Acceptance and commitment therapy, It is a form of therapy that focuses on the person’s willingness to accept pain without judgment. However, the main purpose of therapy is not to accept the situation. Part of therapy involves identifying your values that align with your wishes and goals in life and reaching the determination to follow them. When it comes to pain, acceptance and determination therapy is driven by the belief in dealing with pain and shows that the real source of suffering is not the pain itself, but that the psychosocial struggle to cope with pain is the real challenge.
Cognitive separation is one of the main processes in acceptance and commitment therapy.
Cognitive dissociation allows you to see your thoughts as they actually are, not as those spoken by others. This shows that pain doesn’t have to take control of your life.
One of the simplest techniques in cognitive dissociation is when you realize that you have negative thoughts about pain, “I am thinking / having this thought …..”. to set up the sentence. For example:
“I think I can’t go to therapy today.”
“I think my spine is bruised and weak.”
Putting the word I am in thought at the end of whatever you think will help you distance your thoughts and what they sometimes force you to do.
2- positive self-talk
There are many ways to slow down negative thoughts before they completely take over. Positive self-talk helps you change your narrative about yourself.
While acceptance and commitment therapy focuses on accepting pain Cognitive behavioral therapy is based on the concepts of emotion and behavior that are shaped by our beliefs, thoughts, ideas and attitudes. Cognitive behavioral therapy for pain aims to change mental habits to achieve relief and has also been shown to be one of the most effective methods of catastrophizing pain.
If we compare positive internal conversations to traveling in a country you have never known before, you will realize that you need help. While it can be challenging to start using effective positive statements, it is worth noting that not everyone’s methods of positive self-talk will be the same. For this reason, you should try different approaches to find the method that suits you perfectly.
Here are some examples of positive pain-related internal speech expressions that you can use to get started:
“I’m starting to accept that I can change my pain.”
“I may still be in pain, but I am proud of what I have accomplished so far.”
“Even though my pain has not gone away, I have learned a lot about myself and am rebuilding my resistance.”
3- Acting with the mind
This method is useful for many people with pain, including fibromyalgia, chronic back pain, arthritis, and arthritis. As you try to regain your physical strength, your mind may become anxious to protect you from potential danger. It does this by producing the worst scenario.
To prevent this, you can try:
First, notice the negative thought that comes with your action in your mind.
Then name this negative thought.
Finally, take this action no matter what.
“I realize that walking is bad for my knees.”
“This is a negative drama story!”
Keep noticing these and see if your thoughts are getting lighter. You may be surprised to see how quickly your thoughts fade or change. You may even notice that your thoughts disappear completely.
This is a simple method to achieve the mind-body connection. Physical therapy exercises also support cognitive behavioral therapy, and these exercises increase the self-confidence of the person and reduce anxiety and fear related to pain. Combining cognitive-behavioral techniques with physical therapy will surely help you overcome your pain and live your life to the fullest.
Translated from the original English: Dilara Preserve
Kaynak: Psychology Today. Tatta, Joe. 3 Ways to Overcome Negative Thoughts Related to Pain. Şuradan alınmıştır: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/psychologically-informed-approaches-pain-management/202001/3-ways-overcome-negative-thoughts