As we live our lives, regardless whether we have chronic pain, it’s easy to fall into a “surviving and fixing” mind-set. You reactively deal with an endless number of problems. When was the last time you thought about living your life based on a vision instead of just getting by?
Running your life should be like running a business. While this may seem impossible in the context of chronic pain, there’s no time when it’s more vital. You have a choice. There are multiple components in your life that have to come together in order for it to be successful. Although the variables are different from a business, the principles are the same. You must first have an idea of where you are, where you want to go, and how you are going to accomplish it. Then, you have to develop the tools necessary to get there. Two of the basic tools are being organized and having good communication skills.
Setting specific goals will new neurological pathways different from those focused on your chronic pain. With patients in chronic pain, a high percent, if not the majority of their thinking on a given day revolves around how to deal with their pain. As you turn your thoughts in a different direction, new more functional pathways are formed and the pain pathways become less useful. This is not “positive thinking.” It is truly creating a different plan for your life with or without the pain. Moving forward with your pain
One of the more common phrases I hear from my patients is that, “I just want my life back.” Then take it back. It is yours for the taking.
You need a plan. Here’s a suggested template.