The Mental Game of Chronic Pain

The Mental Game of Chronic Pain |

According to recent statistics, one in five Australians suffer with chronic pain. I never thought that I would be that ‘one’ until I was diagnosed with a condition two and a half years ago that has left me in chronic pain ever since.

Remember the last time you had the flu and suddenly you couldn’t remember what it felt like not to be in pain? Or when you ate bad seafood and the toilet was your best friend for the next few days?

Pain on any level is not a nice experience, but there are unique challenges when facing long-term pain. Chronic, regular pain can stem from conditions such as migraines, back pain, fertility issues, old injuries, rare disorders, trauma, cancer and so many more.

Maybe like me you have found that you are that ‘one’.

While chronic pain can be extremely isolating, please know that you are not alone and you are not forgotten.

When we face pain day after day we not only fight a physical battle, but we engage in a mental battle too – keeping our mental game strong is imperative!   

When we suffer with chronic pain there are so many intruding thoughts. Thoughts like “why me?”, “will this ever end?”, “when will they find a cure?”, “will I be able to get out of bed tomorrow?”, “how do I support my loved ones?”, “there’s nothing I can do”, “what’s the point?”. The questions can seem endless.   

We can get our mental game strong even when our physical game is weak by challenging our internal dialog.

However, we can get our mental game strong even when our physical game is weak by challenging our internal dialog – that dialog we have all day long with ourselves (come on, I’m not the only person who talks to themselves, right?).

We have the power to change our thoughts and choose the tone of our own dialog. When we find ourselves dwelling on the negative internal conversations it’s vital that we change the dialog and shift our thoughts to those of life and hope.

It can be difficult to find thoughts of life amongst the darkness, so here are a few that I meditate on and declare over myself when the pain begins to shift my internal dialog.

“What am I grateful for right now?”

“It’s OK to take time to rest today.”

“I am braver than I feel and more fierce than I look.”

“I am not my diagnosis. I am me, beautiful and free.”  

“What progress have I made in the last week, no matter how small?”

“I can’t do everything, but each day I can do something.”

Here are some Scriptures I also meditate on:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28 // Today I will rest in the presence and peace of God.

“I call on the Lord in my distress, and He answers me.” – Psalm 120:1 // God is with me in my distress.

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust you.” – Isaiah 26:3 // In my pain, God, You are my perfect peace.

“God is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble” – Psalm 46:1 // God is my strength and I am never alone.

“The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.” – Psalm 41:3 // God will sustain and restore me.

“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” – Psalm 31:24 // I choose to put my hope in Jesus and not in my diagnosis.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9 // I am strong and courageous. I will not fear. God never leaves me.

What do you meditate on? Comment below.

– top image credit: Jiří Wagner

Author: Elise Heerde

Elise Heerde is a wife, mother, teacher and writer from Melbourne, Australia. She is passionate about empowering and inspiring women to be brave and courageous in their everyday life!

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