Power of Positive Thinking
Positive thinking involves an optimistic approach and attitude to challenges you face in life. Rather than of becoming negative and obsessively worrying, positive thinking will help you confront an issue with the attitude of “how can I make the best of this situation?"
Pain ≠ Damage
An example, since this is a Chiropractic blog, is: If you think you are broken, you will feel broken. Instead, if you remain optimistic and build yourself up with the imminent goal of healing in mind, you will begin your treatment and follow through focusing on improvement, not your temporary pain. I cannot reiterate this enough: Pain does not equate to damage!
5 Ways Positive Thinking Influences Your Pain
1. Increases Pain Tolerance: According to a Cognitive Restructuring study published in Science Direct, "the first step in cognitive restructuring is to identify and stop negative, catastrophizing thoughts". For example, when a patient in treatment thinks “this is really going to hurt” or “I can't handle this pain”, that will only endure an increase in anxiety and a subsequent increase in pain. The second step is called "Reappraisal" or "Reframing" where patients may change those negative thoughts to “I have been through this procedure before and it did not hurt as much as I thought it would” or “ I have a very high pain tolerance and can cope with whatever will happen.” Moreover, positive thinking not only can help reduce pain–but it also helps you to take your mind off the pain, therefore tolerating pain more.
2. Reduces Stress: First thing's first: stop negative talk to reduce stress! Stress can lead to all sorts of health problems, and make current ones worse. Positive thinking counteracts stress, helping avoid health problems and pain alike.
3. Boosts Immunity: According to Live Science, "Optimism doesn't just boost your mood. According to new research, a glass-half-full attitude also strengthens the immune system." The research referenced tracked changes in optimism and immune response among first-year law students. The findings showed that as students became more optimistic, they showed stronger cell-mediated immunity, which is the flood of immune cells that respond to an invasion by foreign viruses or bacteria. When optimism dropped, so did cell-mediated immunity.
4. Increases Resilience: Studies have found that victims of trauma and crises have been enabled to recover more quickly when engaged in positive thinking. It helps them separate their present state of mind from the trauma endured in the past.
5. Balances Emotions & Behavior: According to the Mayo Clinic
Emotionally: negative thinking and leads to mood changes, restlessness, irritability, anger, depression, sadness, and lack of focus and motivation.
Behaviorally: social isolation, tantrums, alcohol/drug abuse, and negative change in appetite (over- or under-eating.