So many people are in pain at this very minute. You might read this and think “that’s me” or “that’s my neighbor, my mom, my uncle…..” Young or old pain can enter your life and fester like an open wound, coloring your world all shades of grey.
I know pain. At different times of my life there was a pain in my hand, in my shoulders, and in my foot that lingered and colored my life in every shade of grey, from light to dark. Various doctors, including specialists, had different opinions and wanted to treat me in different ways, with a whole array of medicines. Most were wrong.
During this time of pain, visiting doctors, taking medicines, and no results, I would start to think, is this it? Is this how I have to live my life – in pain all the time or taking medicines that adversely affect me? Despite my best efforts I did give in to the anger, the bitchiness, the depression, the “life is treating me so unfairly” feelings sometimes.
At some point you have to choose to either let pain dictate who you will become, or fight back and be the person you want to be.
Over time I have learned a few things and reduced them into my 6 steps away from pain. Maybe you’ll find an alternative below that cures. At the very least you will have some ways to help you on your path to choose to be who you want to be, and not let the pain take control.
1 – HUGS
This may sound corny but there truly is nothing better than a hug. Hug someone, anyone. If someone is not available try a fluffy bunny, a dog, a baby, or a stuffed animal.
2 – CONNECT
Over and over, studies continue to show that personal connections will prolong our lives and keep us healthy. If you are in a lot of pain, and your life is revolving around just surviving the day to day, you have the tendency to do the exact opposite. This is where a good old fashioned kick in the butt may be needed. As NIKE states “just do it.” Stop the texting soundbites and the idyllic Facebook posts. Pick up the phone and call a friend. Arrange an outing with a friend and stay connected.
3 – ALTERNATIVES
There are definitely great doctors out there who are brilliant, always learning, and not guided by the drug companies. But even those doctors are limited by what you tell them, what they know about your history, and what they know. Try physical therapists, massage therapists, alternative medicine doctors, or your grandma – they know things! Use your judgement and don’t cut off your doctors, but if that route is not working for you open up your options.
4 – PREPARE
What we put into our bodies has a direct effect on how our bodies feel. I am a firm believer that there are harmful chemicals in the prepackaged food that we buy. When I did food shows in Asia and Europe there were a ton of food additives in our U.S. companies’ products that were banned as being harmful.
But food is good, good for us and an absolute necessity to life. Do your best to prepare your meals with as few prepackaged items as possible. Make that pasta sauce with actual tomatoes. Roast a chicken yourself. Make some scrambled eggs. We can’t avoid the additives and the recalls 100% by preparing our own food, but I can guarantee you are reducing the bad things (I’m so scientific) entering your body if you make this change. No one has the time or energy to do this all the time, but even one meal a day can make a difference.
5 – FLEX-ABILITY
Yoga – I used to laugh at people that said they did yoga; a bunch of hippies sitting around meditating, calling that an exercise. Well I am a changed woman and fully believe in the benefits of yoga. As our bodies get older everything gets a little stiffer. When something is rigid there is a greater tendency for it to break. That is the same concept with our bodies. If we keep it more flexible there will be less breakage. So try out a yoga video or go to a class and just start stretching.
6 – FORGIVE
MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL – forgive yourself when you fail to do the above steps, when you get angry and depressed because you are so sick of the pain and the failure to cure it. I used to beat myself up that one of these set backs meant I was a complete failure and I should give up altogether. That is not the case at all. If at 1:00 pm you have a melt down, then at 1:20 pm you can recommit and start all over again.