This article by Maureen Pratt from Beliefnet.com provides an alternative view to healing and coping with long-term pain. The Empowering Team finds the tools she provides of great benefit for everyone.
Chronic pain can make us feel isolated and helpless, especially if its cause is an illness or physical condition for which there’s no cure or effective medical treatment. At times of deepest despair, finding ways to nurture our spirits can help us not only cope with the pain, but also discover nuggets of grace, comfort, and productivity that can move us through and beyond the helplessness and hopelessness we feel. Here are ten spiritual tools that can help you get started toward peace in spite of and in the midst of pain.
When we are in great pain, finding true peace and comfort is not easy. But it is possible, if we first try to still our worries and fears, both external and internal. Finding a place where there are no noisy distractions is a great start. Enjoying the outward quiet, we can then calm our inner selves and nurture peace within.
The act of breathing is not only a physical process, but it can also be a tool to move our pain, negative thoughts, and worry out of our bodies and hearts, replacing these with a better sense of self. In a quiet place, breathe in slowly and deeply, then let the breath out, expelling stress and pain with it. Feel the sharpness of pain subside as relaxation and calm take its place.
Listen to Music
A beautiful piece of music can inspire our spirits and soothe our pain like no other sound. It can also help us get in touch with the absolute joy of living, even if we live with severe pain. Put on your favorite piece of music—instrumental or vocal—sit back, and close your eyes. Let the music carry you away from your immediate pain to a place of calm.
Loss Yourself in Prayer
So often when we pray, we ask for relief from our pain and leave it at that. Perhaps more effective when pain is oppressive is lifting up our pain and then resting quietly with the comfort that our concerns are being tended to by One greater that ourselves—and we do not have to take them back again.
Maureen Pratt is a speaker and author who focuses on spirituality, faith, and wellness. Her most recent book is Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain & Illness (Doubleday Religion). Her website is www.maureenpratt.com