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Controlling the Pain You Feel

Pain is something we all feel. From the time we fall and scrape our knee playing outside to serious or chronic illness later in life. But when we feel pain, it all stems from one place – the brain. Luckily, this means we actually have some control over what pain we feel and how it affects us.

Pain management

The worse we feel emotionally, the more intense the pain. Fortunately, we can change how our brains react to pain with five self-calming tips.

Keep your mind off chronic pain with calming meditation. Follow along with our video meditation or listen to our guided audio with relaxation exercises.

Distract yourself with something that takes the focus away from the pain, listen to music, watch a movie, read a book, or do a crossword puzzle. Incorporate this into your daily or weekly routine.

Physical exercise strengthens both your body and mind, helping to close the gates on pain.

Slow your breathing rate to five to seven breaths per minute by breathing in and out for five counts. Focus on people, places, or activities that you love and appreciate. Do this daily when waiting at a stoplight, sitting in a meeting, or watching TV.

Use pain visualization the moment you feel pain. In a comfortable position, close your eyes and slow your breathing. Think of a soothing word or phrase. Now visualize your pain. Imagine changing it into a softer color or pleasing shape. Now, imagine shrinking the pain down to the size of a pea, to a tiny speck. Our guided audio will fully walk you through a pain visualization exercise.

Turning Point has helped tens of thousands. Please explore our website for our toolbox resources for more tips on pain management.

Understanding pain management

Take the pain management quiz

  • False – In fact, it's much more. 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine. That's a higher number than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.
  • True – More than 51% of people feel they have little or no control over their pain, but the Gate Control Theory says we can help stop pain messages from reaching the brain.

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