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A Guide to the Good Life

Understanding Pain Program Recommendations

  • Learn How Pain Works (Read the Understanding Pain book, the Other Recommended Readings, and Watch the Recommended Videos)
  • Clarify Your Personal Values so That You Can Let Your Values, Not Your Pain, Guide Your Life
  • Identify Lost Valued Activities and Movements
  • Ask Your Health Care Provider Which of Those Activities and Movements Are Safe for You to Engage In
  • Begin Working toward Reclaiming Lost, but Safe, Valued Activities and Movements by:
    Identifying Functional Goals (Long Term Goals)
    Making Weekly Action Plans (Short Term Intermediate Goals)
  • Lead As Active of a Lifestyle As Possible
  • Gradually Increase Your Level of Physical Activity (Follow the Principle of Gradual Progress)
  • Engage in Frequent Physical Fitness Activities (Develop a Personal Fitness Plan/Routines
  • Pace Your Physical Activities (Follow the Rule of 2)
  • Engage in Frequent Formal Quieting Practices (Relaxation and/or Meditation Techniques)
  • Engage in Frequent Informal Quieting Practice (Relaxation Response, Present Moment Awareness)
  • Use Active and Approach Oriented Pain Coping Skills to Get through Episodes of Increased Pain (Gentle Physical Activity Such As Stretching or Walking, Distraction, Present Moment Awareness, Self Instruction and Encouragement, Reinterpretation of the Meaning of Pain, Decatastrophizing, Formal and Informal Quieting Practice, Seeking out and Focusing on Healthy Pleasures)
  • Identify the Stressors In Your Life, the Nature of Your Stress Reaction, and Learn and Practice Effective Stress Management Strategies (Values Clarification, Time Management, Assertiveness, Active Listening, Quieting, Emotional Expression)
  • Acknowledge and Transcend Fear/Avoidance (Remember That Hurt Does Not Necessarily Equal Harm)
  • Acknowledge Your Negative Emotions and Express Them In A Healthy Manner
  • Eat A Healthy Low Inflammation Diet; Experiment with Avoiding Nightshades
  • Optimize the Quality of Your Sleep
  • Evaluate Your Beliefs about Pain and Conduct Behavioral Experiments To Test Their Validity
  • Identify Your Thinking Mistakes and Let Them Go or Restructure Them
  • Cultivate and Engage In Frequent Practice of Healthy Attitudes (Beginner's Mind, Acceptance, Gratitude, Compassion, Non-judgment, Impermanence, Letting Go)
  • Relentlessly Pursue the Agenda of Training Your Brain to Turn down Your Experience of Pain (Take Every Opportunity To Focus Your Awareness Away from Pain and to Engage Your Brain's Pleasure Network: Sights, Sounds, Smells, Tastes, Physical Sensations, Self-Care Activities, Loving-Kindness Practice)
  • Be Patient (Don't Expect Immediate Results)