The Power Of The Mind
On my reading today, I ran across this quote down below.. How ironic since I wrote on my blogearlier about breathing my way through the pain. I do believe if we are willing to use our minds, we can use alternative methods to help with our pain and enhance what we are already taking instead of increasing the dosage. Anyway, on their list was breathing and then on down to change your attitude to change your pain.
Great quote here:
“Adjust your attitude. When my pain was the worst, I became angry and impossible to be around. I finally decided to stop being angry and stop crying about pain and start being grateful. When I had pain in my feet I began to think about how lucky I am to have feet. Some people would give anything to have their feet back even with chronic pain. I began “speaking” to my pain. I even gave thanks that I had a body that could feel pain. It wasn’t long before I learned that by changing my attitude I could change my level of pain. Resistance only adds to pain.”
During a war-time, if the nurses and doctors could convince patients that they were taking a new pain med that was so powerful (because they were out of morphine) and after taking the pill and giving it time to work, the patients said they felt better and the pain was better. That speaks volumes to me. It is called the placebo effect and has found to work. Now, we do not all want our doctors lying to us and giving us placebos but what this shows is that the mind and what you think affect how you heal or deal with pain.
video by NHSChoices
Being someone who can not take pain meds like morphine, I do a lot of reading on alternative things to do to help with pain. The last time they gave me morphine pills, my heart rate dropped to 39. Needless to say, I do realize that leaving this world would bring pain relief but I am not ready to go yet. LOL Even with the pain, I still have things I need and want to do. So, I learned to change my mind-set and change how I thought about pain medicines and while I still take them, I also employ alternative things to help because whether we like it or not, we do built up a tolerance to pain medicine and then they have to increase the dosage. What happens if they increase so many times, that you are at the last increase allowed? If your mind is set to believe the pill is the only answer, you will be suffering more because of your mind-set when they can no longer increase your pain medicine.
To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him. ~Buddha~
Many have debunked the idea that these things can help with pain and will scream and cry for more pain medicine and yet, if you could watch them when loved ones are around talking, or putting a movie on and they get distracted, you will see the pain on their face lessen before the pain medicine has had time to work and they will not even realize that it is happening. And then once they are no longer distracted, they begin crying in pain again. This is not to diminish pain for I live with it. It is saying that sometimes those that are in pain will not give the mind a chance….will not give distraction, massage, heat/cold, breathing, energy moving and other alternative things a chance because the mind-set is that the only thing that will help is a pill. I do massage on myself at times and yet some people will swear the only time massage helps is if someone does it to them. It is a mind set.
People often take a feeling of status by how much pain medicine they take. I will hear people compare their pain medicines like talking the stock market as if the pain med makes the pain more validated. Sometimes I wonder if this is why the emotions are allowed to work their pain up even higher? I have even been told “oh, you are stronger than me. I can not live without the pain meds”. I am not stronger. I just have had to learn to do alternative things because I can not take morphine and other higher class narcotics due to my lung disease and my breathing and heart rate dropping so low.
That old phrase, necessity is the mother of invention and when you can not take the higher narcotics, you learn to do other things to help your pain. I never realized what a blessing that is for me. It has made me listen to my body more, made me more aware of what increases my pain and what helps my pain. And it has stopped me from the cycle of thinking a pill is the ultimate answer. And has made me be a person who allowed my mind and alternative things to help my pain like something as simple as sitting in a hot shower. It forced me to use what I had at hand.
Do not misunderstand me. I take pain medicine but I do not make it my miracle cure. I find at times that by using the alternative things, I will go past the time I would normally take my pills because my pain is a little calmer and I do not think about it. And then other times, it takes every alternative methods along with the pills to help my pain. I just do not make my medicine the ultimate answer. Yes, taking a pill is easier but the effects those pills can have on our systems long-term make me want to be where I can control my pain without having to take so much medicine that has a lot chemicals in it.
Not being able to take higher narcotic drugs left me to find ways to help my own pain and made me very aware of those around me. I had a friend I called Buzz, who left this world many years ago. She would get hysterical and work herself into a frenzy instead of trying to do something herself to help her pain and yet when she got that extra pain pill, within five minutes she would be laying back and talking and even laughing, and if you asked her how she felt..”she would say…oh the pain is much better now”. Pain pills do not work that quickly but the psychological dependence that can make us want the pill can because psychologically we feel it is the “cure” for our pain and getting the pill gives us almost instant relief.
The mind is a powerful thing and it can be a help or a hindrance. It can help us with our pain or it can increase our pain until we get whatever it is that we think we need. And I am not talking addiction here in the sense of being physically addicted to pain meds for I believe a person truly in high pain takes the med for pain and not for the high. I am talking about the psychological dependence we get on the idea of drugs and I believe the pharmaceutical companies foster this with all their new drugs and advertising.
Allowing our minds to be open and trying alternative things with the expectation that this will help can enhance your life. But, if we keep a closed mind and will not let ourselves believe that only a pill is the cure or the remedy to help our pain, we are going to be in trouble. And knowing that there will always be some pain in life and not expecting all pain to disappear, and having our minds accept that some pain goes with daily living, then it does not become as big a hurdle as it does when we expect our lives to be 100 percent pain-free. Pain is needed to keep us from hurting ourselves.
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