Learn exercises to overcome pain or help lessen the amount of acute pain.

How can I overcome pain?

There are a lot of techniques that can help minimize chronic pain, or lessen the amount of acute pain that reaches our brains. Pain tolerance is based on stress management. Keeping a happy, healthy mind when we aren't feeling pain makes it easier to close the gates. Using resiliency techniques such as self-calming mechanisms are a great way to train our brains to make our bodies feel better or forget about pain altogether. Try some of these during your weekly routine or during moments of pain.

Exercises

Meditation or relaxation techniques

A good way to keep your mind off of chronic pain is through calming techniques. Find a quiet space and listen to guided audio that walks you through a meditation exercise.

 

Distract yourself

This one is pretty simple. When you're experiencing pain, especially chronic pain, one of the least helpful things to do is focus on it. Find activities to distract from the pain, like watching a movie, reading a book or doing a crossword puzzle. Find what works for you to take your mind off the pain and incorporate it into your weekly routine.

Paced breathing

This paced breathing exercise is designed to help you move out of a stressful, emotional state and into a calm, more balanced state. Research shows that generating positive, emotional states creates emotional changes, increased access to intuition and creativity, cognitive and performance improvement, and favorable changes in hormonal balance.

Here's how to do it:
  • Slow your breathing rate to 5-7 breaths per minute by breathing in and out for 5 counts.
  • Try to think about people, places or activities that you love and appreciate and focus on the feeling of love, happiness and appreciation.
  • Incorporate it into your day, like when waiting at a stoplight, sitting in a meeting, walking down the hall or watching TV.

Pain visualization

Visualizing our pain can make it easier for us to let it go. Use this exercise in a moment you're feeling pain.

Get into a comfortable position, close your eyes and slow your breathing down to five or seven breaths per minute. Think of a soothing word or phrase, like "peace", "relax" or "soft". Now visualize your pain – give it a shape or color. Once you're visualizing it, imagine changing it. Maybe to a softer color or a more pleasing shape. Once that begins to change, imagine your pain shrinking down to the size of a pea. Now to a tiny, little speck. Continue your slow breathing as long as you'd like.

Listen to our guided audio that fully walks you through a pain visualization exercise.

 

Pain Management Toolbox

Resilience Toolbox

Carol Hester

An Oasis for the Soul

"Turning Point is free and it's priceless. If I have a freaky moment, I know I have the skills to stop and get my thoughts back on track. My life is so much more enjoyable. How do you attach a value to that?"