Mind and Attitude

We are what we think and if we can change our mind we can change our pain. Our thoughts will determine our emotional reactions, our behaviors and actions, and ultimately our physical functioning. As Socrates states in 400 BC: “Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” We need to think, wonder, and be wise in our thoughts.Thus, this lesson focuses on the thoughts and attitudes that we experience and how they impact chronic pain, health, and well-being. Protective factors include understanding whole problem, resilience and ability to rebound, self-efficacy and self-control, degree of accepting responsibility, compliance, realistic expectations, and active coping. Risk factors include ignorance of problem, low resilience, low self-efficacy/ control, denying responsibility, poor compliance, unrealistic expectations, and passive coping.

Goals to attain

In creating your mind realm, the goals you want to attain include:

  • Wisdom: See the big picture of life and your personal role in it
  • Mindfulness: Maintain mindfulness, concentration and focus to be aware, learn and improve self
  • Resilience: Learn to rebound quickly after set-backs
  • Optimism: Develop a positive optimistic outlook to see the brighter side of life events
  • Change: Change often takes longer, requires more steps, and takes different paths than expected
  • Control: Maintain an internal locus of control by recognizing that life events derive primarily from self action and changes can be made, if needed

Reduce lifestyle risk factors

Cognitive risk factors such as low understanding, unrealistic expections, or dishonesty are often associated with poor resilience and adaptation, fragmented health care, poor outcomes, poor planning, low compliance with treatment or self-management, low self esteem, confusion, adverse event, and higher risk of chronic pain. The following risk factors need to be reduced to Strengthen wellness and prevent chronic pain:

  • Confusion: Lack of understanding of condition and what to do about it.
  • Unrealistic expectations: Expect immediate, complete, and permanent result of any solution
  • Low locus of control: Lack of accepting responsibility and tendency to blame others for problems
  • Distraction: Tendency to be easily distracted with difficulty concentrating on task at hand
  • Avoiding change: Refusal to accept that life changes due and developing reasons to avoid change.
  • Catastrophizing: Pessimistic thoughts that are often all or nothing creating helplessness about future.
  • Low self-efficacy: Tendency to avoid a challenging task by believing it is too hard or impossible
  • Dishonesty: Tendency to deny or exaggerate the truth as a way to avoid dealing with it.
  • Subversive planning: Tendency to either avoid planning and sabotage plans to create failure
  • Low compliance: Tendency to avoid self-management due low self-efficacy or secondary gain.

Strengthen Protective factors

cognitive protective factors such as seeking a deeper understanding, honesty, adaptability, resilience are often associated with less and more successful health care, good compliance with treatment and self-management, supportive relationships, good self esteem and stable moods, and lower risk of chronic pain. The following are examples of protective factors that can help prevent chronic pain:

  • Honesty: Be honest and sincere with yourself and others.
  • Mindfulness: Paying attention to daily thoughts, feelings, sensations, and environment without judging
  • Problems solving: Develop problem-solving abilities to understand a problem, see alternative directions, and implementing best solutions
  • Decision-making; Ability to make and accept decisions that are value-based and non-judgmental
  • Self-efficacy: Develop beliefs in one's own ability to problem solve, complete tasks and reach goals
  • Open learning: Keep an open mind to learn something new everyday.
  • Self-Responsibility: Accept responsibility for actions and outcomes.
  • Concentration: Learn to focus attention, reduce distractions, and think deeply to improve understanding
  • Resilience: Be adaptable, responsive and bounce back from life changes
  • Coping: Learn to cope with life stresses that is based on personal preferences and goals
  • Optimism: Be optimistic about life, life plans, the future, and views about health and well-being
  • Be realistic: Be realistic about timing and outcomes of activities
  • Effective planning: Develop processes for organizing steps and activities to achieve the personal goal while maintaining flexibility to the directions it takes.