Jean West Watanabe

Self Improvement, Self Growth, Master Key Principles, Manifestation

Positive Thinking for Chronic Pain Part 2


Don't let your pain define you

You have to care enough about your chronic pain to manifest positive change. Some people might be insulted by this, but trust me, I was in that same boat for many years and I completely understand. What I mean when I say that is, you have to make it your number one priority in order to get your thoughts right, so that you can find a pain management program that will give you relief and stick with it. If you are not thinking in terms of making it a priority, then seeking a lifestyle change to help with your chronic pain will fall to the way side. Sometimes I think we get used to our pain and we accept things too easily.

Not long ago a neighbor said to me “well you don’t seem like a person in chronic pain”. Well there was a time when I may have gotten defensive about a remark like that and default to thinking maybe she did not believe me or thought I was exaggerating it, but I actually took it as a compliment. If someone doesn’t think I seem like I am in pain, then I am on the right track. I want to appear to be a healthy person who feels great all of the time, even when I don’t, that way I will eventually become a healthy person who does in fact, feel great. There are several things mentally that can help you with this and these are the things that I know have worked for me.You must care enough to change your lifestyle so you can feel better and have the life you should have. Make it your number one priority. Stop caring if others do not understand your pain crisis and try not to worry about that. It’s hard for other people to understand what they cannot feel. Being pain free is much better than worrying about if you have gained 20 lbs and no longer have the body you once had. In fact, once you make being pain free your number one priority, then the healthy lifestyle and the exercise and better eating will follow. Everybody eats badly when they hurt mentally or physically, because it brings us a temporary relief to take our minds off of our pain, so you are not alone in that regard. What fun is it to run on a treadmill while your joints are hurting, just so you can feel better about that extra piece of pie that you ate? Better to be pain free and rest when necessary, then to exercise while in pain. Painful exercise, in my experience never lasts, pretty soon you will have to stop anyway. Why not get better first, so in the long run you can resume an exercise that works for you and your condition, when the body signals that it’s OK to do so.

2. Forgive yourself for being in pain. You may not realize this, but most likely you feel horribly guilty for being in pain and not being able to do as much as you would like. This can range from limited activity to the amount of money that has been spent on your quest to feel better. It’s human nature to want to feel better, there is not animal on the planet, that won’t try to find some relief if they are in physical distress of any kind. So stop feeling bad about it. When you feel bad about it, you are focusing on it and we want to get away from that pain focus so it doesn’t grow. Limit your time with others who do not understand or make derogatory comments about your chronic pain, if you can help it. I tend to get rid of those people or lessen my time with them if they can’t show some understanding. The friends and family that know the real you, will in the very least try to understand what you are feeling, even if they can’t. Having said this, do not be a victim, because being a victim is focusing on something negative. Do not let your pain define you or your life, but at the same time do not apologize for it either.

3. Positive thinking works. The body does what the brain tells it to do, in fact the brain is so automatic there is hardly a thought when we move our arms, legs or speak. If the brain has this kind of influence on your body, then the brain can make an impression about your health and manifest better conditions. With positive thinking you can influence and inspire the body to get better, rather than staying where you are. This comes with repetitious positive thinking. Focus on the areas of your body that IS healthy. Then you can trick the subconscious mind into thinking your entire body is healthy and up and running at full capacity. Also Universal Law will start to send opportunities and information to you, so you can help your situation become better. Remember, it took two car accidents to force me back to a chiropractor that could actually help. This was the Universe’s creative idea to help me and gave me what I asked for. Recognize if you are suffering from some mental depression due to your chronic pain. This is actually quite common. It’s exhausting for the mind to deal with pain and believe me, if you are depressed it makes the physical pain even worse. Get your head straightened out so you mentally feel better, this will enhance the motivation to take steps to feel better. I have been there. Acupuncture worked well for me with mental depression due to chronic pain. Find out what will work for you and fix that FIRST.

4. Pay attention to what works and helps you. Pay attention to what types of foods or drinks or activities make you feel better or worse. Your immediate environment can also enhance your physical well being. If sitting out in the sunshine gives you a warm fuzzy feeling, then do it. When the brain releases endorphins into the body based on these happy conditions, you will feel the positive effects of that. Keep a short journal on what makes you feel best. I love to drink wine and micro brewed beer. But if I have more than one 12 ounce beer, it causes inflammation in my body and that makes the muscles ache. Well I still want to go to the brewery with my husband and have fun, so I just order a couple of small 3 or 4 ounce taster beers, that way I get to try new flavors and keep the amount limited and my body thanks me for it afterward. Same with wine, I try to limit it to 2 glasses. We all have inflammation foods that cause our arthritis, joints and muscles to ache, everyone will be different with this, so find out what yours is and just limit it to a reasonable amount. You don’t have to stop living and having fun, just pay attention to what sets it off and what doesn’t, so you can modify some change and use portion control to feel the best you can feel.

5. Keep active, an inactive body is a dying body. Dramatic I know… but seriously we are meant to move around. You don’t have to run the 10 mile marathon or keep up with your friends who can bike 20 miles a day, just try to keep active on some level and in a way that your body can handle. If going out for a nice slow walk around a lake or the neighborhood is all you can do, then do it. Movement moves synovial fluid around and the joints become lubricated when we move, so it’s important to keep those parts well oiled, just like the engine in your car. Movement also moves lymphatic fluid which carries the white blood cells that help our immune system and fight disease. The smallest and least stress activities can still help you, both mentally and physically. Find out what activities your body can handle with your pain issue. There are many things to choose from if you care about it enough to look into it.

I find that when I get up in the mornings if I do 5 or 6 sun salutations, that alone will help my back pain feel better and it gets me off to a good start. If you are not familiar with Yoga, sun salutations are one of the easiest yoga stances you can do. The bending over movement and bringing the body up and down gets that fluid moving around those joints in the back and it is amazing how much better I feel when I do it. Learn to stay off of your computer and phones if you can first thing in the morning, being on those devices causes the body to be immobile and after sleeping all night, your body needs to move around first. I typically won’t turn my phone on until 9 sometimes 10:00 am just so I am not distracted by it and will stick with my routine. There are days I would love to go to the gym and work out on the elliptical machine, but my leg or back may not be on board with that, so then I will go for a walk around the lake instead or swim, do Yoga or bike riding which are easier exercises for me with the pain I have. If I really feel awful, then I take the day off from doing any activity and just do gentle yoga stretches at home. I go with what my body tells me and I listen to my body, so I’m always in tune with it and can feel the best I can feel.

6. Give alternative therapy a chance to help you and talk to an open minded medical doctor who may be able to steer you towards the right thing for you and your situation. Learn more about it and increase your knowledge of the different modalities available that may help you where Western Medicine has failed. Acupuncture, massage therapy, acupressure, bio feedback, holistic diets to name a few. These things are worth educating yourself about. I currently take turmeric supplements because it helps with my inflammation. I noticed a considerable reduction in my muscle aches after three days of taking these supplements whenever I wake up in the mornings now. I am not saying these will work for you, everyone is different but it’s worth checking into with your primary doctor. I also have Rolfing done about once a month, because it works with the fascia of my body and keeps things loose.

A friend of mine recently admitted that she doesn’t get out as much as she used to, because of her severe chronic pain. But she did say that when she does get out, if she is having fun and laughing a lot, it keeps her mind off of it and she feels better for awhile. I have also had success with this, and my pain lessens when I am having fun and laughing too. Sometimes I have to push myself to go ahead and do an activity even when my body is screaming NO. I tell myself over and over, this pain does not define me.

One time, my husband Kio called me from work and asked if I was interested in seeing a Foo Fighters concert that night. The tickets were affordable and there were still a few left. The Foo Fighters are one of my husband’s favorite bands and I too have a great deal of love for lead singer Dave Grohl, so I hated to disappoint him. At first I hesitated, because I was having a pretty bad day with my chronic pain and didn’t feel I had the energy to attend a rock concert for a few hours, knowing I would be standing most of the time. Kio sensed the hesitation in my voice after he asked if I wanted to go, he then told me I didn’t have to if I didn’t feel up to it. Although he was trying hard not to sound disappointed, I knew that he was. I decided to go and refused to let my pain define me once again or control my life. After all, we may not get another chance to see a big named act like this for awhile, so I told him I would be fine and to go ahead and buy the tickets. Well, the concert was indeed fantastic and we did in fact wind up standing through most of it, which went for a good 2 ½ hours, but I did not feel any discomfort during the concert. In fact, I was so energized and pumped by the music, I didn’t think about it at all. Normally my lower back and right foot would ache non-stop, but not that night. I felt great! I had refused to give my pain any acknowledgement, energy or attention that evening. When we take energy away from something it eventually fizzles out. Learn to put your positive energy in the right place at the right time and manage your pain for a better life. This way… you won’t miss any cool rock concerts. 

Author: Jean

I was born and raised mostly in Minnesota, the youngest of 5 girls. I never went onto college as my sisters did, because the only two things I had ever wanted to do was work with horses or pursue music and I figured I would not need a conventional education for either of those. I chose to pursue a career in horse training three days after graduating from high school and did this for many years. Horribly misguided by others I met along the way, I eventually became disillusioned with the horse industry and it's lack of respect for the horses, so I moved on from that and I never looked back. I then went into music, which was my second love and was an aspiring singer/songwriter part time for another 10 years while I worked administrative jobs on the side. This also went to the wayside when it did not take me where I wanted to go. These days I am married and currently live in Colorado with my husband, two dogs and a horse. In looking back on my life I could never understand why I would get so close to reaching my dreams and goals, but then watch them slip away as easily as they had come. As a young horse trainer starting out, I had two very good opportunities to work for a woman who was former world champion rodeo star and also for a close relative of another rodeo star, who had been a world champion many times over. I rejected both of these opportunities early on, but with great regret later, because my head was not in the right place to accept them. Even though I had manifested both opportunities during that time and without realizing what I was doing, was unable to keep them. The same thing happened in the music industry. I had the experience of recording demos in both Austin Texas and Nashville at separate times, and I was given the opportunity to be represented by a few producers in Nashville as well, both eventually going nowhere. These hit and miss opportunities that never really got off the ground, soon became an up and down journey that I went through for several years, until I started studying Universal laws of manifestation. Early on, the first book my cousin had handed me about negative and positive attraction was indeed inspiring, but telling someone to simply think positively is not going to leave a lasting impression, so I fell back into my old ways of finding opportunity and losing opportunity. Years later, I eventually moved onto another book and things went a little deeper, but I was still not quite “getting it” because I had so many questions and felt things were missing in the authors explanation of how this all works. I eventually found The Master Key System written by Charles Haanel and that's when things really came together for me. His explanation of why Universal and Natural Laws of Attraction work by bringing science and spirituality together, instead of separating them as we have been taught, really made a lot of sense to me. All of my questions were answered and the holes were filled in. It was the connection of science and spirituality that made this book a little different than the others. Nothing I had read, had gone quite that deep before. I started to use The Master Key System and saw that opportunities were coming to me a lot more easily than in the past and I was able to keep them. In using these principles, I launched my first successful small business when I was well into my 40’s, as an equine massage therapist and at a time when I thought that I was going to be stuck working mindless admin jobs for the rest of my life. It was amazing how it brought me full circle into working with horses again. I have continued to use The Master Key Principles for every part of my life, both physically and mentally. I am a lifetime, work in progress student and a true believer of these wonderful methods.

2 thoughts on “Positive Thinking for Chronic Pain Part 2

  1. I’m very inspired Jean, WoW just an awesome read – Thank you !!! 😍