By Maggie Harris, LCSW
Did you know that your thoughts can influence how you feel? We are not always aware of the things that we tell ourselves and the impact of them. For instance, have you ever told yourself that others in the room are reacting negatively to you, even if there’s no real evidence? Or that you are a failure because your pain leaves you unable to work? Neither one of these statements are facts, but when you act as if they are, how does that make you feel? Well, consider telling someone you love, such as your child or a good friend, that they are a failure. How do you think they would feel about it?
You may be thinking that you would never say that to your child. If a child makes a mistake, as we all do, hopefully we respond in a way that will help them take responsibility for the mistake, learn from it, and move on. Most of us would not tell them they are a failure or say other mean and damaging statements. Yet many of us don’t think twice about speaking that way to ourselves. If you are human, like I am, it hurts to hear that. Mean self talk can lead to increased low mood or depression, even hopelessness. And isn’t it hard enough already to live with losses that can occur when you have chronic pain?
Rather than blaming yourself for things you can’t control, why not allow yourself to feel the natural sadness and grief about losses you have experienced and then focus on what choices you actually do have? For instance, even if you can’t play ball with your child right now, think of other ways you can show them love and attention.
Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone you love. If you slip up, just apologize and then speak differently to yourself. Encourage yourself when you are down rather than beating yourself up. Make amends and do better when you get off track. Positive self regard and loving kindness is good for all relationships, including your relationship with yourself.
The Behavioral Health Department at SJNMR as well as your medical providers care about your health and are happy to help you in any way that we can.
About Center for Spine, Joint and Neuromuscular Rehabilitation:
Center for Spine, Joint and Neuromuscular Rehabilitation is a comprehensive approach to the treatment of pain. We offer nonsurgical treatment for the neck, back, shoulders, hands, hips, knees, and feet by Board Certified anesthesiology, physical medicine and rehabilitation and pain medicine physicians. Services include evaluation and treatment of painful conditions including medical management, diagnostic and therapeutic injections, nerve conduction studies, diagnostic imaging, physical and behavioral therapy.
Phone: (615) 872-9966 http://www.sjnmr.com Fax: (615) 872-9967
Brentwood – Hermitage – Mount Juliet – Murfreesboro – Nashville