Dealing with pain: 6 tips

Those of you who know me personally are aware of my long life with arthritis and the challenges that follow. In this post I’d like to encourage you with five of my best strategies to deal with hardship. In 1978 I changed from allopathic medicine to mainly natural medicine. I insist that the best medicine is one that is open to the best of what every approach has to offer.

My life is a fight. To stay healthy requires a lot of work from my part. Continuous work. I need to be aware of getting the right food, enough sleep, a lot of meditations and supplements of different sorts. Sometimes I would love to spend less time maintaining this body and mind and more time being reckless and careless. But, as you surely know, we can all wish for some things to be different from time to time.

When struggling to keep my vision because of a damage to my eyes, I need to rest. My personality on the other hand, doesn’t enjoy resting too much – unless it’s on a sunny beach. This post is not meant to be you feeling sorry for me. My life is an adventure! I would not have changed with anyone. But maybe my way of handling challenges, pain and difficult situations might inspire you as I’ve been inspired by others.

So here we go! Whether it’s pain of a physical character, emotional hardship or mental pain – I will share with you some of my strategies of how to handle it.

1. Ask for help

For me, asking for help is a barrier. I haven’t always trusted that the help I get from doctors and the system works for me. So, I’m used to looking for solutions elsewhere. Which means I very often have the entire responsibility for my well-being in my own hands. But the thing is, sometimes when the pain is too intense, I don’t think clearly – and I need help. Having people around you to discuss with is therefore crucial. Whether it’s from a therapist, a doctor or a sister with healing hands, receiving love and support helps dealing with pain.

2. Take action

I always analyse, preferably with someone else, whether I need to seek medical attention or not. Is this a pain I am familiar with and must endure? If there is anything I can do – I will do it!

3. Acceptance

If I have done what I can do right now, my next step is acceptance. I don’t like it, but when I accept this to be my reality for the moment, I feel calmer. Less struggle, more peace. Being afraid of the pain is often worse than the actual pain itself. So at this point I actually stop fighting. And then I can move down this list.

4. Distraction

I am ready for a distraction! Nothing more to do at the moment, so I will drift in memories of a lovely beach or look at pictures from nice moments in an album. I will listen to some magical music or watch a film. Meditation is one of my favourites. Or even sleep. The point is – if at all possible, I distract myself from thinking of the pain.

5. Gratefulness

When I’m in pain it’s impossible to feel grateful for my life and this very moment. But there is always something else I can be grateful for. From being lucky enough to choose the food on my plate to the medical care I prefer – I can be grateful for every person in my life that has contributed with love in any way. I spend time going through every single one of them. It lifts my spirit.

6. Heal and release

Healing to me, is letting the situation out of my own hands and giving it up to the life force itself. Call it God, the universe or energy, to me we are all part of one source of love. I need to remind myself of letting situations go whenever there’s nothing else I can do. I allow for something grater to take over. My repetitive sentence is simply “Heal and release”. I ask for it to heal in the widest meaning and then I let go. This takes away worrying, which is an energy-stealing activity that helps no one. So whenever upset, worried, sad, and especially in pain, these two words work miracles for me.

Energy and focus are fascinating. And when combined, so powerful. Change your focus and the movement changes. I hope you’re encouraged to deal with whatever is going on, or have some ideas to share with one of your loved ones.

♡ Love, Silja

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