Fighting Back

Step 2: Positive Thinking

Are you an individual who approaches difficult situations with great negativity or do you try to look at the bright side? Is your cup half empty or half full? Unfortunately, even the most positive and enthusiastic individuals tend to dwell on the negative when experiencing chronic, unrelenting pain. This type of pain can make the strong feel weak. It can cause logical thinkers to have irrational, distorted thoughts. These negative thought patterns reduce your ability to cope with pain. They lead to a distorted view of yourself and others. Irrational thoughts lead to needless stress and interfere in relationships.

This does not have to happen. Individuals who work hard at changing their attitude discover that their pain tolerance improves. You can take control of your pain instead of your pain taking control of you.

The Effects of Positive Thinking

  • Increases happiness and well being
  • Reduces pain
  • Activates your healing system
  • Relaxes your body and mind
  • Increases confidence and self-esteem
  • Increases your control over your pain
  • Allows you to achieve more

Stopping Negative Thoughts

  1. Recognize and acknowledge your thought patterns in difficult situations. What does the situation mean to you? How are you reacting? What are your thoughts?
  2. Avoid negative "hot thoughts". Hot thoughts are absolute demands. "I demand that they take care of this right now". Hot thoughts are expressed in words or phrases like: must, never, always, needs to, ought to, and should have. Instead, ask how you can help yourself.
  3. Use problem solving strategies to cope with difficult situations.
  4. Use Affirmations/positive thoughts. Say to yourself, "Be calm, this will pass. I can do this."
  5. Take deep breaths. Count to 10.
  6. More information and ideas can be found at

Patients Choice BEST 2014