Is it True?
by Jan Sadler of PainSupport
Do your thoughts always give a true picture of what is happening? We might assume that they always do. However, it's not necessarily so. Part of your mind is logical and analytical, another part of your mind is emotional. When we are fearful or experience other strong, upsetting feelings, the emotional part has taken over from the rational part. For example, you have a ‘flare-up’ of pain, you may think some of the following thoughts,
“This is terrible, this is the worst it's ever been, it won't settle down, I'll be like this for ever, I can't cope, nothing helps, nobody understands.”
If you believe those fearful thoughts, you are left feeling hopeless and helpless.
However, if you look at them again you can see straight away that most of the thoughts are absolutely not true and they are also decidedly unsupportive and unconstructive.
Examine any strong thoughts and feelings.
Learn to recognize the useful thoughts - and ditch the others!
Just because you think or feel something, it doesn't necessarily mean it's true!
When you're struggling, always ask yourself,
“Are these thoughts REALLY true?”
“How true are these thoughts? Are these thoughts a little true, somewhat true or completely true?”
To put things in perspective, it might help if you give yourself a percentage of how true they are, e.g. 25% true 50% true, 75% or 100% true and then ask yourself,
“How can I move forward from here? What can I do to help myself?”
Changing negative thoughts to more positive constructive thoughts will help certainly help you. Instead of saying ‘nobody understands’, which isn't 100% true, you could tell yourself that plenty of people understand, especially people at PainSupport where you can meet many others with pain. Instead of ‘nothing helps’ you can tell yourself that there is always something that will help and, again, you can make a start by looking through some of the pages on the PainSupport website, details below. There are many practical ideas, such as using ice/heat pads, through to dozens of pain-relieving techniques.
Understanding your thought processes helps you to make positive changes in your body and contributes to reducing your pain and improving the quality of your life.
Fostering helpful, supportive and constructive thoughts will help to reduce tension in your body and allow the production of your body's natural pain killing chemicals, including endorphins, and so bring about pain relief.
Researchers say that people who keep a notebook handy feel more in control of their lives and are nearly 40% happier than those who do not! Why not start a personal notebook now and jot down your thoughts during the day. Perhaps ideas for future or ongoing projects, commitments you make, things you need to do and most importantly, all and any 'good things' that happen during your day - use the book as a treasure trove of positive sayings, events, thoughts, observations, etc. At the end of every day, re-read them and give yourself a positive and relaxing boost before going to sleep.