Exercise, when done safely, can benefit you physically and mentally. It helps prevent deconditioning of muscles which is often associated with more pain. Studies find that exercise is one of the most beneficial approaches to managing pain.
Making lifestyle changes can be made easier if you have a structured approach to setting and researching goals.
People with pain often “over do” resulting in pain flare ups. Pacing can allow activities to get accomplished safely, without flare-ups, and in a manner that conserves energy (i.e., with less fatigue).
Teaching the body to relax can both diminish muscle tension and decrease stress. To work properly, regular practice is needed so that the body learns a rhythm of relaxation and can relax on your command. Less tension and less stress can lead to decreased pain intensity.
What we think influences how we feel and how much pain we experience. Sometimes negative thoughts become automatic and make us feel worse. Learning to reframe our thinking in realistic terms that challenge negative automatic thinking can help diminish pain intensity.
Conflictual social relationships with family, friends, doctors, and employers can make pain worse. Alternatively, these same relationships can be used constructively to make pain better. Communication skills can help make social relationship work in your favor.