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What will take my mind off the pain of shingles?

Sheri Van Dijk
Psychiatry

Any kind of pain we experience is made worse by our tendency to fight the pain. Acceptance of our experience - not saying we like it or approve of it, or that we don't want it to change, but simply acknowledging our reality - helps us to change our relationship to the pain and make it more bearable. For example, thinking about the pain of shingles and how awful it is and how it never seems to stop and wondering if it will ever get better...will only make the pain more unbearable. Saying to yourself "it is what it is" and then trying to distract yourself from the pain, will make it more tolerable.

And what do you distract yourself with? Preferably enjoyable activities. Call someone and ask them how their day is going rather than focusing on your pain and other problems; play with your dog; watch your favorite TV show or read a book that really engages you. And whenever you notice your attention wandering back to the pain you're experiencing, as best as you can, gently (without judgment), bring your attention back to the activity you're focusing on.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.