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“I’ve tried everything!” How to manage the frustration of chronic pain

By the time people living with chronic pain reach out to us, they’ve usually tried everything else they can think of to ease the symptoms.

From medication, physio, integrated treatments and everything in between, when you constantly feel like crap physically and mentally it can seriously impact quality of life.

While we can’t offer medical advice on dealing with specific conditions, if you want to know how to ease the frustration that comes with living with chronic pain, we’ve prepared our best advice.

Petra’s tips for managing the frustration of chronic pain:

Show yourself complete self-love 

“There needs to be an enormous amount of self-love learned and practised here.

I’m not saying it’s easy because when our bodies are ill and we feel a lot of physical discomforts, it’s hard to push through that.

I have been in many situations in my own life when I had a physical condition, so I know how hard it is to push through those moments and heal, but really finding ways to love yourself is actually what heals and frees your body.

It’s important to understand that our bodies get to a place of illness because at some time in our life, something happened to us that we didn’t have enough resources and capacity to deal with and process. The energy stayed stuck, and the only way to now physically heal is to go back with love and release any shame or guilt.

We don’t need to consciously go back to the moment or know the origin (although it is helpful), but by understanding that illness is a consequence of something that happened to us and loving ourselves fully, we start to heal.

By practicing self-love, we are also sending out a signature that we are deserving of the good things and that our lives will be healthy, joyful and abundant.

Having worked with many people, we’ve seen time and time again that self-love can release any shame, guilt, fear and anything that’s staying stuck inside of us and contributing to the physical illness. Physical pain usually all starts on the subtle levels from our thoughts and our feelings.”

Celebrate each new day

“Instead of thinking, ‘oh, when am I going to heal?’ and being impatient, release the expectation of feeling better immediately.

Instead, remind yourself that you’re getting better each day, even though you might not feel it physically yet.

Keep coming back to the new day where you’re feeling better. Before you know it, you’ll start to feel – and be – better each day.”

Matt’s tips for managing the frustration of chronic pain:

Accept the frustration

“The answer here is in the question itself. The reason for the physical issues and the chatter in your head is because of the frustration itself.

Rather than dealing with the frustration, the answer is to accept it and look at what it’s speaking to.

This is where you’ll find the wisdom and the opportunity to release what you’re clinging to. Not that you’re doing anything wrong, but something has been conditioned into this place of being hard on yourself that creates the discomfort.”

Acknowledge progress

“Making emotional progress can happen so gradually that people can forget to acknowledge it. We see it all the time in group coaching or at our retreats. People make so much progress, they transform into completely different humans and still feel like nothing’s happening!

When we move and grow but don’t acknowledge it, we’re always striving for more which can lead us to stay stuck in frustration.”

Be grateful

“I agree with Petra that it’s so important to show self-love and be gentle and kind to yourself. Finding the silver lining and finding gratitude for the situation can also help.

We need to learn how to reframe being frustrated and feeling stuck to being able to say to ourselves, ‘wait a minute, I’m taking baby steps. Moment by moment, things are starting to shift. Things are starting to happen and grow. I am evolving and gaining more awareness and getting deeper into this. Things are opening for me’.

That kind of self-talk then actually reveals more of an opportunity to focus attention on where you’re going instead of what has been holding you back. And that will make all the difference.”

Guy’s tips for managing the frustration of chronic pain:

Look for the opportunity

“What I found in my own life if I’m in that area of discomfort is that sometimes the smallest things can have the largest impact in terms of some of the decisions we make.

Identify anything that can make you feel like you’re taking steps each day. Feed into that inspiration and feel that gratitude. If you find yourself continuously feeling helpless and not looking for ways to improve, ask yourself what small baby step you can take today to help you move towards everything you want.

By actioning that, you will inspire more action from that place.

When I’m in the thick of it, I look for anything that can help me look back at the end of the day and highlight the steps I’ve taken and feel good about myself.”

If you’re feeling stuck or frustrated physically or emotionally, subscribe to our newsletter to read more from Guy, Matt and Petra and the Live in Flow retreats and workshops.

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