Think your pain away, why meds may not be enough

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Coping with pain.
Photo courtesy of

If being mentally healthy will reduce your physical pain why is it a last resort?

Prescription drug use in America is at an all-time high. So is the abuse of prescription drugs. With more and stronger medications always being introduced why do so many Americans report chronic pain?

Doctors will prescribe all sorts of medication, sometimes even surgery, but when all else fails they will often refer the patient to counseling or a mindfulness class. Why is working on your thinking a last resort?

We know if you think about your pain, really concentrate on what is ailing you the pain grows in importance. It may even take over your life. This effect is true for both mental and physical pain.

Some simple mental techniques have been repeatedly shown to reduce the impact of pain and lessen the disability caused by those pains.

We know that those old pain involved expressions carry a lot of truth.

You are a pain in the neck – People who fit that description makes us feel sore in the neck region.

You make me sick – People who are disagreeable can affect our sleep and digestion.

We know from personal experience that dysfunctional interpersonal relationships can cause real physical pain. Learning to change or accept things in our life can go a long way towards managing our pain, both physical and mental.

Has there ever been a time when you were in serious pain and then something fun, a happy event occurred? For that brief time, you discover that you forget about your pain. Watching a funny program can reduce the feelings of sadness that are plaguing us.

In an earlier post, I wrote about “Don’t think about Elephants.” The process of trying not to think about a thing actually can make that item harder to forget. We find that rather than trying to not think about the pain, the pain in the back, or the pain in the heart, we need to focus on things that are helpful and positive.

Hospitals with chronic pain clinics have found that classes in exercise, yoga especially, mindfulness, and other calming techniques can reduce pain for patients who had found no relief via the medication or surgery approaches.

Yoga and mindfulness are not some metaphysical hocus-pocus. As it was explained to me mindfulness is nothing more than paying attention to what you are doing. Make sure that you are walking when you walk instead of brooding about your troubles.

And yoga? What about that? One instructor told me that yoga is just exercising while breathing. If you didn’t focus on improving your breathing, yoga would just be another type of calisthenics.

Something as simple as walking each day can have a significant effect on depression.

Learning to breathe, relax, and clear your mind, can be especially helpful in reducing the stress and tension in the body.

So consider including some work on your thinking and your body as part of any pain management program. As always talk with your doctor before making any sudden changes but let that doctor know you are open to some counseling or exercise if that might help control your pain.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

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1 thought on “Think your pain away, why meds may not be enough

  1. Hello David.

    I’m exercising at the moment to keep my mind and body healthy. It makes a heap of difference to me not falling into any kind of Depressive Mood. Way better than any medication. Nite from Oz.Paula xxx


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