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Coping With Pain

It's important for 3 reasons:

1. Pain is a part of life and you can't always avoid it.

2. If you can't deal with your pain, you may act impulsively or without thinking.

3. When you act impulsively, you may hurt yourself or someone else without getting the results that you actually wanted.

Distract With "Accepts"

Activities      Play a game, go see a movie,sing along to your favorite cd, write a letter to a friend, write in a journal, ride your bike. Remember there will be other times to think about your troubles later.

Contribute    Reach out and do something nice for someone, give people compliments, send your friend a thank you card, email, or text for being your friend, give someone a hug, volunteer. Remember there will be other times to think about your troubles later.   

Compare     Compare yourself to other who are less fortunate than you or if that does not work or makes you feel worse, compare the painful feeling to a better feeling you've had before because no feeling lasts forever. Remember there will be other times to think about your troubles later.

Emotions    Create a different emotion within yourself. Watch a funny movie or something funny on the internet to make yourself laugh. If you're feeling sad and like you don't want to do anything, get active and go to the gym. Look at pictures of cute animals. Remember there will be other times to think about your troubles later.

Push away   Push the painful situation out of your mind only temporarily. Think of it as putting your painful emotions into a box and throwing it into your closet and leaving it there. Create a push away box where you write down something that is bothering you and put it in the box and don't think about it until you are ready to deal with it. Remember there will be other times to think about your troubles later.

Thoughts      Replace your thoughts by reading a book or a magazine, counting backwards from a hundred in multiples of 9, spell words backwards, do puzzles like sudoku or jumble. Remember there will be other times to think about your troubles later.

Sensations    Change the sensations you are feeling. Hold an ice cube, listen to loud music, take a cold shower, squeeze a stress ball as hard as you can, eat a sour piece of candy. Remember there will be other times to think about your troubles later.

Self-Soothe

Vision         Go to your favorite place or park and take in all of the sights, look at your favorite photograph of a happy memory. Focus all your attention on the thing you are looking at, if your mind starts to wander to your painful feelings, bring your focus back to the sights.

Hearing      Listen to soothing music [you can get some good peaceful music at the dollar store!], play your favorite song as long as it doesn't make you sad, go outside and listen to all the sounds of nature. Focus all your attention on what you are hearing, if your mind starts to wander to your painful feelings, bring your focus back to the sounds.

Smell         Get some of your favorite lotion or perfume and put it on, light some scented candles, or bake some cookies and get the warm cookie smell throughout your house. Focus all your attention on what you are smelling, if your mind starts to wander to your painful feelings, bring your focus back to the scents.

Taste         Mindfully taste a piece of candy: ask yourself, how does the texture feel? what does it taste like? does it make your mouth water? You can do this with fruit or non-alcoholic drinks. Focus all your attention on what you are tasting, if your mind starts to wander to your painful feelings, bring your focus back to the taste.

Touch         Touch something with a lot of texture, like something very rough. Touch something very smooth, pop some bubble wrap, put a cold cloth on your head or arms, Focus all your attention on what you are touching, if your mind starts to wander to your painful feelings, bring your focus back to what you are touching.

 Try making a self-soothing box. Instructions on how to do so are under the distractions tab on this website.

"Improve" The Moment

Imagery      Close your eyes and imagine yourself being in a very peaceful environment. Imagine your pain melting off of you and going down a drain. Imagine yourself with healthy coping abilities.

Meaning      Create some purpose or meaning in the pain you are feeling. Find the positive aspects of the painful situation you are in. Turn lemons into lemonade.

Prayer          Open your heart to a power that is greater than you and ask for strength to help you bear your pain. It doesn't have be God, but a supreme being or greater wisdom can do.

Relaxation   Listen to a relaxing cd, breathe deeply, half smile, take a hot bath or sit in a hot tub.

One thing   Focus all your attention on what you are doing at the moment. Keep yourself in the very moment you are in. Do mindfulness exercises.

Vacation     Give yourself a vacation, take a break, take a nap.

Encouragement   Repeat these statements over and over

  • "It won't last forever"
  • "I will make it out of this"
  • "I'm doing the best I can"

Half Smile

Half smiling is a concept where you don't use all the muscles in your face like you do when you have a tooth-showing smile. Gently turn one part of your mouth up and relax your muscles. When you relax yourself you relax your mind as well. A lot of times half smiling will turn into a real smile.

1.Half-smile when you wake up in the morning to start your day with a positive attitude.

2.Half-smile during your free time

3.Half-smile while doing something you love

4.Half-smile when you are frustrated or annoyed

5.Half-smile while you imagine the face of someone who has hurt you in the past.

Pros VS Cons

Make a list of the pros and cons of the following things in any given situation:

1. What you have always done

2. Doing something different

Think if there will be consequences of the choice you make or if the choice you make is effective or not.

Radical Acceptance

Pain is a part of life and we can't always avoid it.

Suffering is not accepting that pain.

Acceptance is letting go of the pain by not fighting a situation or an emotion. It also turns suffering into pain that is easier to cope with.

Acceptance does not mean that you will always be in pain, you are weak, or you approve of the pain.

If you radically accept something in your life, for example your curfew and not fight by trying to make it 11:00 instead of 10:00, you can cope with the painful situation rather than suffer. The pain of the situation is that you can't go out later than 10:00. The suffering of the situation is you trying to change your curfew or breaking it. The radical acceptance is as follows: your curfew is what it is.