- Chronic Pain & Wellness
- Chronic Pain & Wellness
Get Into the Habit of Conquering Pain
By Dr. Peter Abaci
Read any article or book about success and names like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, and Tom Brady are likely to show up. A lot of time and research gets spent studying what makes high achievers special and different from others. One topic that garners a lot of attention when it comes to success has to do with building the right habits. In fact, Dr. Stephen R. Covey’s well-known book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has been a popular best-seller in the business community for many years. We all want to know the secrets for accomplishing great things so we can try to incorporate them into our own lives.
I think when it comes to our health and how we handle our pain problems, putting a high value on adopting the right habits is equally important. If things like living better, feeling better, and functioning better matter to you, then why not take a hard look at what it takes to get there? For most of us, a great life doesn’t just fall out of the sky; we have to make it happen, even in the face of real diversity.
A good first step is to visualize what you would like your health and your life to look like. If you are nowhere near where you want to be, then things need to change and work needs to get done to reach your goals. Next, draw a picture of how you see yourself on the left side of a piece of paper as well as a picture of what you would like your life to look like on the right hand side. In between the two images, draw a bridge and start to come up with a plan on how you can and will cross that bridge.
Once you have a vision of where you would like to be, then the next step is to adopt the right habits that will help you make it over the bridge. On a second sheet of paper, draw a line down the middle from top to bottom. On the left hand side, write down a list of what you do in a typical day, including how much you walk, exercise, what you eat, how much you lie down, and sit. Also consider the time you may spend interacting with others as opposed to how much time is spent on the internet and social media. Are the ways you are spending your time and energy in line with your vision for life on the other side of the bridge?
If the answer to that question is something akin to “probably not,” then move to the right hand side of the paper and start working on a new list. What habits and styles can you adopt that will ultimately lead you down a better path? Think about what traits others have adopted to overcome their own challenges and accomplish goals similar to yours. For example, in the business world it has been noted that highly successful entrepreneurs like Warren Buffett are also big readers. Their time is extremely valuable, but they see the importance of allocating part of their day to reading something, whether it is books, journals, or newspapers.
Whether your issue is back pain, fibromyalgia, or rheumatoid arthritis, consider looking for the stories of others who are doing well with similar challenges for inspiration and insights. Search for the habits that align with folks who are crossing the bridge of where you want to be. Once you start getting your list put together, then the next step is coming up with a schedule and the structure needed to implement these positive changes. People who meditate regularly make it a part of their daily routine. Folks who eat a diet high in healthy vegetables make a point of shopping for those types of ingredients. If we don’t add structure to doing what we value and make ourselves accountable, then we run the risk of never doing what is necessary to truly succeed and experience the life we want.
Be on the lookout for some of my upcoming blogs, as I will dive deeper into what habits and traits are especially valuable in conquering the pain in our lives.
Image courtesy of Tanatat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
About the author
Dr. Peter Abaci
Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center: A Prospira Center of Excellence
Peter Abaci, MD, is certified in anesthesia and pain management by the American Board of Anesthesiology. He serves as the Medical Director of the nationally recognized Bay Area Pain and Wellness... View Articles