Chronic pain can make us feel isolated and helpless, especially if its cause is an illness or physical condition for which there is no cure or medical treatment. At times of deepest despair, finding ways
to nurture our spirits can help us not only cope with the pain, but
also discover nuggets of grace, comfort, productivity that can move
us through and beyond the helplessness and hopelessness we feel.
Below are 10 spiritual tools that can help you get started toward
peace in spite of and in the midst of pain.
1. FIND QUIET
When we are in great pain, finding true peace and comfort is not easy, but it is possible. If we first try to still our worries and focus both external and internal. Finding a place where there are no noisy distractions is a great start. Enjoying the outward quiet,
we can then calm ourselves and nurture peace within.
The act of breathing is not only a physical process, but it can also be a tool to move pain, negative thoughts, and worry out of our bodies and
hearts, replacing this with a
better sense of self. In a quiet place, breathe in slowly and
deeply, then let the breath
out, expelling stress and pain with it. Feel the sharpness of
pain subside as relaxation
and calm takes its place.
3. LISTEN TO MUSIC.
A beautiful piece of music can inspire our spirits and soothe our pain like no other sound. It can also help us get in touch with the absolute joy of living, even if we live with severe pain. Put on your favorite piece of music... instrumenta
place of calm.
4. LOSE YOURSELF IN PRAYER.
So often when we pray, we ask for relief and leave it at that. Perhaps more effective when pain is oppressive is lifting up our pain and then resting
quietly with the comfort that our
concerns are being tended by One greater than ourselves, and
we don't have to take
them back again.
5. REFLECT IN NATURE.
Pain can isolate us and make us feel very much alone. But in reality, we are part of an amazing world. A walk in the outdoors, a glance outside at a
garden, a quiet moment with a beloved pet...each of these things can renew our sense of belonging to the world.
and help us to feel less alone in our pain, and make us grateful for our lives among such wonder.
6. LAUGH MORE.
Pain itself is no laughing matter, but the act of laughing can be physically and spiritually healing. It helps us breathe deeply, cleanses tense pain from our bodies, gives key muscles exercise, and lets us travel to an uplifting place of joy. Whether it's a joke, a cartoon, or the antics of a pet, find laughter and enjoy it often.
7. REACH OUT TO OTHERS.
When we are in pain, it can be easy to feel as if no one cares. But there are many in the world who feel the same thing, and we can make a difference in our lives and in others' lives by reaching out in comfort and care. A phone
call to a hurting friend, a visit to someone in need, even an e-mail to an online support group, all of these can help us feel less isolated and help others in the process.
8. LIVE IN THE LIGHT.
It is easy for our souls to be flooded with darkness when pain is sharp and overwhelming. We can combat this darkness...light can help focus
thoughts and bring comfort. Don't spend too much time in dark rooms.
Even in the darkness, be conscious of the light all around and let it guide you to a greater calm.
9. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
Often there is no cure for what causes our pain. This can make us feel as if our bodies are out of control. But, the better we take care of ourselves, the more we will feel at least a little control of our circumstances, and our attitude
toward pain. Taking time to follow a healthful regimen reflects on our spiritual health too, and gives us a chance to rise above our pain and feel better inside and out.
10. NEVER LOSE HOPE.
Every day, there are new developments in medicine and in therapies to our pain inside and out. Hope is not just a feeling that things will be better...it is a tangible tool to nurture and guide us through the frustrations that accompany pain into positive actions that can make our lives better now and in the future. Without hope, our spirits wither. With hope, as with the creator, all things are possible.
"May the God of all comfort give you a pain and stress-free day"