Winding down your stress
Learning ways to wind down your stress will help you to manage your pain.
A small amount of stress can be helpful because it can push you to get things done and meet your goals. Too much stress can overwhelm you, make your pain worse and stop you from doing your normal activities. So, what is too much? This is when you have too much to do or manage, but do not feel like you have enough resources or support to cope. Learning ways to wind down your stress will help you to manage your pain.
How can you wind your stress down?
You can start by learning ways to wind down your stress in the moment, and use these tools to calm yourself down when you feel overwhelmed or really anxious. Check out ideas in the Calm down, Managing my emotions and Relaxation tools . It helps to practice these tools often and then you can use them when you feel very stressed or unable to cope.
But the problems might still be there…
You will also need to spend time working on your problems to help you to cope with stress and manage your pain. There are simple steps you can learn to help you solve your problems.
Some problems are small and you can sort them out easily, while others are bigger issues that are much harder to fix. No matter what the problem is and whether it is big or small, if it does not get sorted out, it will make your stress levels and your pain worse over time.
People with chronic pain may experience more problems than most, or the pain might make it harder to fix these problems, but if you keep ignoring them, they will not go away. Often you get stuck fixing the same problems in the same way, but it never really makes a difference and acts like a band-aid. It can help to try new ways and ideas. You need to find the best solution, at the moment, to help you achieve your goals. To do this it is often helpful to try a problem-solving approach. This can take a bit of time, but this structured approach can give you a plan of attack.
It can be helpful to use the steps below to help you fix your problems.
The D.E.C.I.D.E steps for problem solving
- D - Define the problem.
- E - Explore all the different ways to fix the problem.
- C - Choose the best one by looking at the good and bad points.
- I - Identify the steps.
- D - Do it.
- E - Evaluate the plan.
Read through the Winding down your stress guide to learn how to use the D.E.C.I.D.E steps to solve your problems, then work through the D.E.C.I.D.E steps worksheet to help manage your pain and learn to Be Pain Smart.