How to be Positive When Living With Pain

It can be extremely difficult living with chronic pain. It’s very easy to become down and despondent at times and focus only on the negativity of the situation.

Can Positivity Help Pain?

We need to be honest about our pain and say how we feel at times. But can being more positive actually help our pain?

A positive attitude isn’t a magic wand. It won’t send the pain flying into orbit, but it can help people cope better. When someone feels positive, they can feel empowered and more capable. If they are able to cope with their pain better, the pain itself might not feel as bad.

How to be positive when living in pain. Glass half full, glass half empty.

Positivity doesn’t always come naturally

Some mornings when I wake up, I don’t feel too positive. I could easily pull the quilt back up over my head and stay in bed – and some days I have to because of the physical pain. But if it’s mood related, I need to try to do something about it. I might have a rant, a cry or just a good old moan and then I take a deep breath and try to start the day over again. Sometimes it’s not that simple and I have to just accept that it’s a bad day, hide away and hope that tomorrow is a better day. But I can’t do that every day. I can’t let negativity drag me down. I need to try to be proactive in finding positivity.

12 Ways to Find Positivity


Here are some things I do to try to find positivity despite my pain. Please give them a go – they might help.

1 – Smile

Look in the mirror every day and smile at your own reflection – you are guaranteed to get a smile back.

Smile at other people – they’ll smile back at you.

Smiling really is infectious and it is scientifically proven to be good for you. It releases feel good endorphins which help you mood and your pain.

Smiling is good for your health. Releases endorphins, lowers blood pressure and act as pain reliever.

2 – Laugh

They say laughter is the best medicine.
Read some silly jokes, watch your favourite sitcom or look on Youtube for some funny cat or dog videos.

3 – Wash and Dress

If you’re able to, have a shower or bath, then get dressed. Some days are definitely pyjama days because of physical pain or illness. But on the other days, putting on comfy clothes can help your mood rather than wearing pyjamas all day.

4 – Eat well, sleep well

Getting good, healthy nutrition and sleep is so important for us physically and mentally.

5 – Write or talk about how you are feeling

Write about your problem. Sometimes writing about it can clear your mind and put everything in perspective. It’s worth trying.

Loneliness is common for people with chronic health problems. Chat to someone. Chat online or by telephone if there’s no-one around or you can’t get out.

6 – Focus

Focus on the positives. Camera lens.

Focus on an hour at a time, or even a minute at a time.

Focus what you can do, rather than what you can’t.

Focus on what you have, rather than what you don’t have.

Try keeping a gratitude journal. Look around you and find things that make you happy. Old photos, family, pets, anything that triggers happy memories. Smell some flowers. Watch a butterfly. Small things like that can mean a lot when you live with pain.

Focus on whatever makes you feel better.

7 – Activity – physical and mental

I always feel better mentally if I can get outside and move about a bit, but walking isn’t always possible, nor is going outside. But there are gentle exercises which some people can still do despite disabilities. Find links on youtube of sitting exercises and gentle yoga. Do what you are able to do, and speak to your doctor or physiotherapist for advice.

If you can’t manage physical exercise at all, do some breathing and relaxation exercises.

Try to keep your mind active with distractions. Do crossword puzzles, write a story, watch a movie, read a book or get your mind engrossed in a hobby. Bake a cake, paint a picture, knit a scarf or string some beads to make a necklace. If you want some more distraction ideas, check out this post.

8 – Be around positive people

Surround yourself with positive people. It’s nice to be there with a listening ear for other people when they’re down, but sometimes you need to think about your own mood. If you’re down, you can’t help them much and their mood could bring you down further. Sometimes you need to back away, even if only for an hour until you can handle it.

Finding positivity in a world of pain. Finding happiness when living with pain.

9 – Music can lift your spirits

The world would be a sadder place without music. My taste in music ranges from everything to anything. But there are just some singers and some songs that I can’t help but sing along to. Singing can turn my mood around. My singing can also turn my husband’s mood around, but that’s because I can’t sing! He puts up with it though.

What’s your favourite song or piece of music?

Click on this Twitter link to share your favourite song or piece of music

10 – A little kindness goes a long way

Do something nice for someone. A little kindness will make them feel good, but it will also help you feel better. You could phone an old friend or spend five minutes chatting to an elderly neighbour – it doesn’t have to involve spending money. Time is often more precious to people than money.

And do something nice for yourself. Treat yourself. Do something you enjoy – take time to watch your favourite movie, do your nails or put some essential oil in a diffuser and just breathe.

11 – Be hopeful

I don’t believe in having false hope. Miracle cures that seem too good to be true normally are. But we can still hold on to hope. We can hope for better treatments and for better understanding. And we can hope for better tomorrows.

12 – Pep Talk

Look in a mirror and look right into your eyes and say “I love you”. Sometimes we knock ourselves down so much but we shouldn’t. You are doing the best you can in a bad situation, so be proud of yourself.

Love yourself – you’re worth it.

Girl looking in mirror. Look at yourself and say, "I love you." You're worth it.

Ask For Help

If you feel down and despondent a lot, please talk to your doctor about it. It’s very easy to slip into a dark hole, and the further we go down, the harder it becomes to climb back out. So if you are finding yourself in one of those dark places and you are struggling to find a way out, then please speak to your doctor. It’s a difficult climb, but more difficult if you’re trying to climb out on your own, so please do ask for help.

Thank you for reading. I know it’s not always easy to be positive when you have pain, but I hope this post can help you is some way.

Please leave me a comment below – I’d love to hear from you.

And please do click the social media share buttons.

30 thoughts on “How to be Positive When Living With Pain

  1. I agree with everything you say in this post. It’s hard to be positive but it’s essential in order to get by each day. I also try and think about the good things that have occurred since having my chronic pain. Stuff I have done or have in my life that I didn’t before my pain. It can just make being positive that little bit easier for me. Super post and some great tips! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Being positive doesn’t come naturally to me, it’s something I have to really work at and it’s not always successful. But trying to be positive throughout chronic illness and pain… it can be incredibly difficult but it’s such an important topic, which you have covered beautifully. I really like that you’ve given small, manageable ideas that are actually incredibly powerful in cultivating positivity. Very nicely done, Liz  ♥
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Caz. It’s definitely not always easy. I have to try extra hard some days, and sometimes it just doesn’t work. But that’s when I bury under the quilt and hope tomorrow is a better day.

      Like

  3. sjd68

    Being positive helps in so many ways! My wife is the epitome of positive. She always takes the “it could be worse side” of things. Being positive when in pain on a chronic basis is not easy to do. Surrounding yourself with positive people helps in all areas of life. Listening to music and exercise as well. If you can combine all three of those it’s a win!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Luna S

    Talking with people is a great way to help, it is surprising how much just getting feelings out can help the mind, soul and body. There are a lot of great tips here.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I find getting dressed really helps me. Working at home means that I can stay in my pajamas basically forever, unless I have to go out somewhere. Sometimes I just need to get dressed to feel “normal” and productive. A positive attitude is huge as well. Some days that is easier than others. But it is really important. When I practice this consistently, it becomes a habit and I am able to handle things much better. Which I always appreciate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally get what you’re saying about feeling more normal and productive. I think I associate wearing pyjamas all day with being in a really bad way, so I end up feeling sorry for myself.

      Like

  6. Trish

    Thinking positively often means being intentional about what we do and say. It’s a choice we have to make and sometimes it isn’t easy, but it is always worth it. These are perfect ways to manage it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. By Joanna K

    One more helpful post. I like the point raised about the smile. It reminds me of a dear song, composed by Charlie Chaplin: “Smile – What’s the use of crying –
    You’ll find that life is still worth while if you smile”
    Have a lovely summer, full of laughter and smiles

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Staying positive is important because you can control your mindset. Yes, positivity isn’t a magic cure-all and it doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but surrounding yourself with positive people and thoughts is helpful

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lyosha Varezhkina

    I think it is the best post from you so far. It is very helpful and very insider. I don’t think person without pain might ever come up to this.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I agree with all of these ways to cope with chronic pain. It really is mind over matter most days isn’t it? Endorphins are important too so on top of positive thoughts and behaviors, tie in some movement to a happy place for distraction.

    Like

  11. It’s truly difficult to keep positive when you’re dealing with a chronic illness, daily. I agree with you that you can’t depend on mood to get yourself in the right frame of mind, so developing it has to be a plan and strategy that outlines how and when you’ll do things to achieve well being. I love your list of coping mechanisms – thanks for sharing them.

    Like

  12. Pingback: How To Cope When You Are Feeling Judged – Despite Pain

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