Life is richer when you can pursue the things that matter, such as love, work, feelings of competence, being part of a caring social network of family and friends, growing as a person. Chronic pain makes goal pursuit more difficult. Pain can interfere with effective motivational strategies and can lead to intense frustration. Your roles and your sense of who you are may change. Sometimes pain may make you forget what you used to want – you may find that all you care about is getting rid of the pain.
Life with Chronic Pain Can Still be Full and Rich
One of the most important steps in learning to live with pain is finding ways to pursue goals even though you have pain. If you have given up on anything more than getting through the day, you may find it hard to think about “goal pursuit”. It may sound daunting and unrealistic. But, you still have it in you – the human brain was designed for goal pursuit. Your brain wants to set a goal, find a path, take the steps to achieve something. You may find that what matters may be different now. That's okay. To pursue goals, you may have to think smaller, be flexible, and creative.
Select a Goal
The first step is to select a goal. By “goal”, I mean something you want to do, experience, create, feel, learn, understand, achieve. It should not be big or grand. It should be something with a bit of challenge that is definitely achievable. The point is simply to work toward a goal so you can exert control and feel alive and purposeful. Make sure your goal is something concrete like “prepare a meal” or “start exercising again” – that way, you will easily know whether you have reached your goal. Abstract goals like “get closer to my husband” should be broken down into something specific such as “take a 10 minute walk each evening with my husband”. Spend a day or two and think of a goal that you can get started on.
Create a Plan: Paths and Steps
To reach a goal, you need a specific plan. Once you have identified your goal, brainstorm about different pathsgeneric viagra