How to be Happy Despite Chronic Pain

How to be Happy Despite Chronic Pain

In a world consumed by chronic pain, smiling may be your last concern. If you live with chronic pain, there are certainly other goals that are more important to reach such as making it out of bed in the morning. However, growing research agrees that laughter could be the greatest medicine out there, helping more people in pain every day.

At American Spine, our treatment isn’t only for the improvement of your chronic condition, but also your entire wellbeing. Dr. Sial, Dr. Fisher, and Dr. Kelling are all double board certified pain specialists, always looking for ways to improve the practice. With three locations in California, American Spine is the leading pain management facility on the west coast.

Researchers from California’s Loma Linda University studied 20 American adults. Ten of the participants were directed to watch funny videos for 20 minutes, while researchers measured their stress levels and short-term memory. The other 10 participants were directed to sit in a quit room for 20 minutes with no talking, reading, or using cell phones. The researchers discovered that the group watching funny videos had an average of 43.6% improvement in recall abilities, compared to 20.3% in the quite group.

Other studies support laughter as medicine, as it shows a wide variety of health benefits including protection against heart disease.  Laughter releases feel-good endorphins in the body, which can greatly impact the vitality of chronic pain treatment. If you or someone you love suffers with persistent chronic pain, consider these 6 tips for keeping joy in your life:

  1. Remind yourself of funny memories. In times of distress, think of the times you’ve laughed your hardest. Keep these memories fresh and handy for the days when your pain feels unbearable.
  2. Surround yourself with loved ones and laughter. Though your pain may keep you from seeing your friends and family on a daily basis, try to keep them close. Make future plans or simply pick of the phone each day and talk with a loved one.
  3. Get a pet. Having an animal is a great way to improve your chronic pain treatment. Animals love to play and will definitely keep you busy. Research suggests that people with pets are generally less stressed and experience better moods.
  4. Eat foods that make you happy. Though sugar and carbs seem ideal and comforting when you’re in pain, they offer damaging effects to your pain management. Incorporate foods that give you energy and strength such as cherries, dark chocolate, and fish.
  5. Express every emotions. When you are mad, yell. When you are happy, laugh. Whatever you are feeling, express it. Don’t hide your feelings behind your pain. The more you talk about what you’re going through, the better you may feel.
  6. Start your day with a smile. Let a morning smile start your day—every day!

At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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