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Living With Pain And Fatigue: Finding Gratitude While Living With Chronic Pain

30841944_MThe holiday season is a great time to think about what you’re most grateful for in this life. Chances are that your chronic pain isn’t going to make that list. When we’re sitting around the table during Thanksgiving this year, we want to be able to say that even though we have chronic pain, we still have so much to be grateful for.

It’s time to put all the thinking you do about chronic pain to the side. Before the holidays officially hit, take some time to think about gratitude. What are the best things that have happened to you this year? Who are you most glad to have in your life? If these questions are too hard for you at this time in your life, it’s okay. There are still so little things we can do to realize that there are things to be grateful for this year, even if we are suffering from serious pain & fatigue.

These are some simple things you can do to make sure you’re finding gratitude, even when you’re suffering from chronic pain.

Focus on the little, happy moments in your day.

You’ve heard it time and time again. People probably tell you all the time now that you’re suffering from your chronic pain. They say you should just focus on the good. Focus on the positive. This may sometimes sound hokey, but remember that there is some truth to these words. Try simply focusing on the little things that make you smile every day. This can be just something simple, like your little kiddos saying something as they go to school in the morning. Or, it can be something a little more complex, like when your next-door neighbor unexpectedly brings you a casserole when you can’t get out of bed to make dinner.

Keep gratitude on your mind every day.

It’s easy to spend one day thinking about something that made you feel a little bit better about your life. You may wake up one morning and say, “Instead of thinking about my chronic pain all day today, I’m going to spend some time thinking about all of the things I’m grateful for.” While this is a great mindset, it’s probably pretty likely that you won’t be able to keep that up for a week. The trick is to keep gratitude on your mind every single day. Some simple ways do to this are to write a message to yourself on your bathroom mirror so you will remember to think about gratitude every day.

Make a list of the people who have done something nice for you.

When someone provides you with some kind of service, write it down! Chances are that now you’re focusing on dealing with your autoimmune disease, people are looking for ways to serve you pretty often. While it always feels so nice and special in the moment, your life can often get in the way of you remembering all of the small acts of kindness for too long. So instead of forgetting about the nice things that people do for you, write them down. Then, when you start to feel blue because you don’t think you have a whole lot to be grateful for, take a look at the list. You’ll remember that there are so many simple things the people around you are doing for you. This will help you to remember how grateful you are for those people.

Your chronic pain may make you feel like you don’t have a lot to be grateful for this holiday season. When everyone else is talking about their gratitude for their perfect family and overall health, you may be focusing on doctor’s appointments and getting out of the bed. The pain and fatigue you’re feeling may make you think that there’s not a ton to be grateful for this year. It isn’t true. And you know that. So take these suggestions to heart and focus on the happy things in your life. Because no matter how serious your chronic pain is right now, there’s no way that all of the happiness is completely gone from your life.

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