Everyone has to live with a degree of stress in their lives, and there are arguments that in this modern era, life is more stressful than ever. For those of us living with chronic pain, for example through fibromyalgia, our natural ability to confront stress and deal with it head-on is often compromised.
For those who experience pain on a daily basis, it is vital to make a conscious effort to develop techniques that can reduce our stress levels and prevent stress from developing into higher-level anxiety or depression. There is no simple one-size-fits-all approach to this, but the following points are worth keeping in mind.
Cut loose from the impossible
It is too easy to focus on what you can’t do. Remember, nobody can do everything. There are plenty of people out there who would love to compose a concerto or write a novel but will never do so. If your pain means you are unable to do certain things, leave them behind. Only then will you be free to discover different passions and celebrate new accomplishments that will bring happiness and meaning to your life.
Nourish the body
It is as important to nourish the body as much as the mind in order to battle stress. Look for foods that are rich in serotonin in order to boost feelings of wellbeing and happiness in a completely natural way. Nuts are a rich source, but if these are off the menu due to dietary sensitivities, you can always take a natural supplement that will do the same job. Try to avoid processed foods that are rich in sugar and carbs, as these can lead to peaks and troughs in blood sugar that do more harm than good.
Again, the key is to focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. Sitting sedentary in front of the television all day because you can’t go for a run around the block or a 10-mile hike is approaching life from the wrong angle. The simple act of doing what you can creates a feeling of positivity, whether it is a gentle stroll, or simply moving from one room to another.
Avoid the naysayers
Of course, everyone needs to vent their frustration from time to time, and there is no harm in that. But there are some who bring negativity into your life without meaning to. Often, these are those who are close to you. If someone is constantly miserable and complaining, it can have a toxic effect, so try to find a way to keep clear of them. We all know people who maintain a sunny disposition whatever life throws at them, and this, too, can be contagious.
Remember, we all have challenges
It is easy to look at someone who is not living with constant pain and think they are so much more fortunate. But what do we know of what is happening behind their eyes, or the closed doors of their homes? Everyone has his or her own challenges to face in life, and it is the way we choose to handle them that is key to reducing stress and discovering new roads to happiness.