Episode3 Segment 2 - How can feelings affect your pain?

Fast Fact

Emotions can
affect our
experience of pain

Just as emotions affect our bodies, so they can also affect our experience of pain.

Sometimes when we feel certain emotions our pain can appear worse, and this may stop us from doing certain things. For example, you may notice that your pain seems more intense when you are anxious or stressed about a test or exam coming up at school, or when you have had a fight with your parents or friends. Other common emotions linked to pain include sadness, grief and frustration.

Other times, when we are more relaxed or happy, such as when we are on holidays, we might not notice our pain as much. You might find that you are able to do certain activities you cannot always do, and for longer periods of time.

There is more information in Episode 1: Understanding Pain that could help explain how strong feelings  can make pain seem worse.

User Activity

This task is about recognising how certain emotions can affect your pain and activity levels.


Below is a table. In the first column, type in an emotion.  In the second column,  type in how it has affected your pain. In the third column type in how it has impacted on your activity level. Some examples have been included to help you get started.

Emotion Pain Level Impact on Activity
Anger (had a fight)
Worry (that pain could not be managed)
Fear (about a flare up)