Thursday, July 16, 2009
I THINK, THEREFORE I AM...*NOT* IN PAIN...
Most people are aware of the potential power of the mind & in particular the role of the 'power of positive thinking' to make changes in a specific area of one's life. This belief has been around for years, even before the book "The Power of Positive Thinking" came to be, up until present day. The popularity of the "The Secret" and the role the Law of Attraction can play in life is not a new concept either. But do you believe in this theory and more specifically, can positive thinking help play a role in pain management?
Personally, I believe the human mind holds immense power of such an intensity that we as mere mortals, lack the ability to fully comprehend. In my 20 years of nursing, I have seen many people basically give-up, lie down & die because a doctor had given them a poor prognosis and they believed it lock, stock & barrel. That is one of the reasons I think it is a huge mistake to give a patient an answer to the question: "How much time do I have?" There is no answer to that question, simply because no one knows exactly when we will die...Does this mean that all serious illness will not lead to death? Of course not. I am not saying that all disease can be cured with the power of the mind, although it certainly plays an important role. Simply put, positive thinking plays a large role & no one should ever give someone a time limit on how long they will live.
There have been many documented cases of people dying exactly to the day after a doctor had stated how long they had to live. Therefore, if we can be told how much time we have left and internalize it so much that it becomes reality-so then we should be able to affect change in a positive manner as well.
I know that on the days when my pain is particularly overwhelming, I feel worse in every way possible...physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and so on. Feeling worse also leads to vocalizing just how tired I am of suffering. This just perpetuates the negative thought cycle and the pain seems to remain at a heightened level for an extended period of time. However, if I am in a somewhat positive mood, or even a neutral mood & distracted, working on an article for example, I am also aware that the pain does not 'seem' as severe.
The very fact that there is a lot of research being done regarding the deleterious effects of stress on our health, should clearly indicate that our thoughts & emotions play a large role in our health. We need to have a positive mind-set in general to accomplish the goals we set for ourselves. This is the exact reason why 'life coaches' are so popular now. It is easy to set goals, it is another story to actually stay positively on task as we attempt to accomplish them. We, as human beings seem to struggle with the concept of positive thinking and actually remaining positive when what we strive for does not immediately arrive. Most of us, have real trouble delaying gratification.
I have personally tried "positive thinking" to control my pain, many times in fact. The problem being however, I backslide rather quickly when I do not see immediate results. One of the ways to combat this and remain in the positive thinking mind-set is to participate in a treatment known as: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). This therapy aims to stop the negative self-talk related to past experiences & instead replace it with a more positive, "living in the moment" type attitude. When it comes to coping with chronic pain, living in the moment is essential. The moment you begin obsessing about a future filled with pain you feel immediately defeated.
We may not be able to take away our suffering & the chronic pain we deal with each and every day, however, positive thinking clearly plays a very large role in how we cope with it. Above & beyond dealing with chronic pain via analgesics, it is definitely worthwhile to search out each & every alternative treatment available including psychological help. Treatments such as CBT may be exactly what you need to say: "I THINK, THEREFORE I AM *NOT* IN PAIN.
Wishing you a positive thinking, pain-free day,