What Are the Best Strategies to Reduce Stress And Relieve Pain?

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Try to use the person's usual coping mechanism, so if somebody is funny and they look at things with a sense of humor, you want to try to bring that into whatever they're doing, whether it's their chronic pain, if they're people who can be distracted by different things. There's sometimes we think of stress as being, let's say work or other things, but those can actually be positive as well.

So, if someone has pain, but they're very busy into their work, or they're taking care of their kids and doing other things and they can focus on something else very completely that might actually decrease the pain. It's not that the actual injury has changed, it's just that their perception of the pain or the severity of the pain changes, and finally, I do try to get people involved with their pain psychologist if they have chronic pain and it's really taking a toll on them.

Pain psychologists have very specific strategies in terms of cognitive behavioural therapy, biofeedback, there are a variety of things that they can use, imagery to be able to help people to overcome stress, and in terms of cognitive behavioural therapy, I think that's very useful. What happens with a lot of people is that, they have chronic pain and they're kind of managing with it, and then at certain times the pain just builds up, and it accelerates, and they don't know what to do.

They reach this point where they're in a state of panic, and that's when the cognitive behavioural therapy is useful because they can figure out how to get themselves out of that position, how to avoid that escalation, and those fears, and those thoughts that might make them more alarmed, and that makes a huge difference in terms of managing the entire situation.