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Recommendations: Thinking about the "Pain" all the time

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by jrid32, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. jrid32

    jrid32 Peer Supporter

    I naturally have an obsessive personality (once I latch onto something I am "all in" - sports, work, hobbies, anything!!!), so once I started having chronic pain 4 years ago (I have pain everyday / all day in my upper, mid, and lower back with some in my arms except when sleeping) I find myself thinking about the pain all the time. I will wake up thinking "I wonder how much pain I will have today" or "When will my pain kick in today".

    I am on day 20 of the SEProgram and am finding that this is my toughest challenge yet! How do I stop thinking about the pain? In a weird way, I think I am obsessed with the pain!!!
  2. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi rid32,

    Your constant focuss on the pain is what keeps you in fight or flight. The skill is to disengage by adopting a few of the TMS modalities.

    There are actually a few techniques you could explore; body scan meditations, deep breathing, mindfulness and eft. All have proven to be beneficial, but like anything, they all require practice and to be carried out on a daily basis.

    Finally, I'd also read a fabulous post on outcome independences by Alan Gordon.


    Best regards

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
    jrid32 likes this.
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi jrid32,

    I think it is about shifting your attention to something outside yourself--other people, animals, what you experience with your senses, or an engaging activity. It takes practice but can be learned. Some people are able to learn to shift their attention to a part of their body that isn't in pain, but I think that is harder. Forgetting about the pain, because you are absorbed in something else, is the same as being pain-free. For those moments that your attention has shifted, you are pain free. Then you just need to keep increasing the time that you are focused elsewhere, and eventually you have a pain-free life. Without attention and fear feeding the pain, it disappears.

    Welcome to the Forum, and best wishes...
    Monique and mike2014 like this.
  4. jrid32

    jrid32 Peer Supporter


    Absolutely great points and spot on because there are times when I'm not thinking about my pain then realize that I wasn't thinking about it and the pain returns!!!
  5. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, jrid32. Ellen has it right. The more distracted I get, doing things I enjoy, or even doing work on the computer I don't enjoy, I do not think about any pain. Keep as active as you can, both physically and mentally. You need to modify your obsessive personality. Don't be so hard on yourself and so demanding. Slow down and practice deep breathing and watch some Youtube videos on Guided Meditation. Take time out with a cup of hot milk or tea.
    Try being like lots of big corporation lawyers... they never hurry about doing their work. What should take an hour takes them weeks or months. That has been my experience with corp lawyers. They seem to have relaxing down to a science.
    jrid32 likes this.
  6. 575

    575 Peer Supporter

    For me the obsession stopped by facing the pain head on and seeing first signs that confirm the existence of TMS.
    I had the exact same thoughts like you described.
    When I resumed my hobbies (had butt pain, hobbies involve sitting) and started to notice
    - increased pain
    - changed position of the pain to the other butt cheek
    - muscle twitches
    - cool sensations in the pain area
    I became confident in my doing and saw that I am truly defeating TMS.
    jrid32 likes this.

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