One of the most important strategies in increasing the grip on pain, is to become more active. How is it possible that 'doing more' can lead to less pain, how do you build that up, and which activity do you choose?
The best strategy
As you may already know, pain arises in the brain. How you feel, what you think, where your attention is and what you do, all have an influence on your pain! Your brain is convinced that there is danger, and it hurts.
The best strategy to work on your pain affects all of these four areas. The best strategy is to become more active. If you choose the right activity to expand, it will have the most impact!
Which activity should you choose?
For the strongest effect, it is important to choose an activity that convinces your brain that there is no 'danger' all the time. That may sound a little strange, but let me explain it to you for the four different areas.
Thoughts: If you undertake an activity that makes you feel good and that you enjoy doing, fewer negative thoughts will go through your head. And negative thoughts contribute to the feeling of danger.
Feeling: The same goes for your feelings. If you feel bad, your brain may call out "danger" more quickly and create pain. By doing activities that give you a good or relaxed feeling, positive feelings are more in the foreground.
Attention: The more attention you pay to your pain, the more you feel the pain. So choose an activity you can easily bring your attention to - and don't choose a boring activity!
Do: This step is clear. By doing it, you have an impact on many areas involved in the development of pain. So choose an activity you like to do and see if you can expand it.
How do I expand my activity?
Below are a few steps to expand your valuable activity. If you succeed, it's definitely a good idea to pick up activities that require you to get moving!
- Look at goals you'd like to achieve in your life. Are there goals among them that you should take up a certain activity for? Pick a goal to work on.
- Over the next few days, see how long you can easily sustain this activity. So don't 'push' yourself to want to make immediate progress. No, first see what you can do now, and write that down at a time. Where is your base?
- Choose the activity you want to expand and determine your basis.
- Choose a small step to expand the activity at a time. 30 seconds longer each time, or maybe 50 metres?
- Get going! And see if you manage to stick to the schedule
- Important! Don't let it depend on your pain whether or not you're busy. It's fine to take it a little easier when you're having trouble, but it's important not to let it depend entirely on your pain whether or not you move.