Changes to your lifestyle may seem unnecessary but they are powerful tools that can help you manage and deal with physical and emotional pain.
Pain affects every aspect of life – physical pain caused due to a chronic illness may be controlled with medications but living with pain can affect your mental health.
A strong mind is essential for a strong body and your lifestyle can either weaken or strengthen your mind and, in turn, body.
So, if you are looking forward to building a strong mind and help yourself cope with physical, mental, or emotional pain, try to incorporate these lifestyle changes for a better, healthier life.
1. Listen To Your Body
It is natural for you to ignore and avoid the signs that your body has been showing for a while because you are too busy at work or choose not to pay attention for your own reasons.
However, at some point in your life, these signs become stronger and probably more severe indicating a serious health condition.
So, it is important to pay heed to your body and to treat any condition at the right time. For instance, if you find difficulty in breathing and you don’t know the cause of it, consult a doctor so you know what is causing you the discomfort.
The key is to listen to your body when it is in pain – physical or emotional – only then can it be treated or managed.
2. Recognize Your Stress Triggers
Pain and stress are two interdependent factors that have adverse effects on your health. Pain can cause stress and stress can aggravate an existing pain.
So, it is important to bring your stress levels down. To bring down stress, it is important to recognize what is causing you stress.
Most often, stress can be dealt with by changing your approach to things. For instance, if work is causing you stress, time management, establishing work-life boundaries, having an open conversation with your supervisors, etc. can help.1
3. Stay Active At All Times
Pain or the fear of it can cause people to feel more tired and disabled than they actually feel. This can lead to less physical activities promoting an unhealthy sedentary lifestyle.
However, it is important to push yourself to stay active. The best way to do this is by exercising regularly. If you have a health condition that limits your physical activity, speak with a healthcare provider to know what kind of physical activity is best for you.
If exercising in the comfort of your home is not good enough, sign up for classes at the gym. Aerobics, Zumba classes, dance classes, are only a few examples of fun activities that can keep your body active.
4. Follow A Healthy Diet
To enjoy the complete benefits of any physical activity, it is equally important to strictly follow a healthy, balanced diet.
Fill your plate with fresh, whole foods and keep your body hydrated by drinking enough water. Cut down on sweetened beverages like tea, soda, and fruit punch as these may cause depression.2
You should also remember that a healthy diet promotes a healthy mind and this can probably help you fight pain, both mental and physical.
5. Improve Your Sleep Cycles
Sleep is as important for your body and mind as physical activity. Having a regular sleep cycle is important for your body to feel energized and charged for the following day.
Pain, physical or mental, can be worsened with disturbed sleep routines, bad sleep positions, and sleep habits. Those who don’t get enough sleep – both quality and length – are more prone to moodiness and fatigue than those who do get enough sleep.
Therefore, make sure you follow a proper sleep routine fetching you at least 6–8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
6. Strengthen Your Support Network
Sometimes, even if you do all the right things for your body, you may be required to seek help from others.
This is not a bad thing. Seeking help from others does not mean that you are giving in to your weakness. Instead, it is only going to make you stronger.
Strong relationships and social support networks can help you deal with pain to a large extent. Sharing your experiences can make you feel better about yourself while listening to the others can make you feel that you are not in it alone.
Helping others and taking help from others can provide a sense of satisfaction and reflects feelings of kindness and care.
If you feel you have trouble making social connections, start small; establish a good relationship with friends and family and slowly build connections. Take advantage of technology if face-to-face meetings are not possible with the ones you want to share your stories with.
So, if you are diagnosed with a chronic health condition, fight it with a strong body and mind. Make these lifestyle changes to help you live a healthier life and enjoy it to the fullest!
|↑1||Coping with stress at work. American Psychological Association.|
|↑2||What Lifestyle Changes are Recommended for Anxiety and Depression? Taking Charge of Your Health And Well-being, University of Minnesota.|