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3 Tips on How to Deal With Chronic Pain as a Young Adult

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Your 20s are supposedly the best years of your life, especially when you’re having fun all the time and your mind and body are at their best and brightest. While this may be true for some, it isn’t the case for everyone. A topic that isn’t normally found among happy hour conversation or office lunch banter is that of chronic pain, especially as a young adult and the depression that can come along with the condition.

Chronic pain is one of those silent illnesses. Much like depression and anxiety, it doesn’t have to have a rhyme or reason — it just is. And if you’re struggling you’ll know that feeling of hopelessness that comes with being in pain and not being able to cure it completely.

If you’re struggling with chronic pain and you’re in your 20s, don’t lose hope. You can still enjoy your life to the fullest. Don’t let these years of your life pass you by because even though you’re struggling, you’ll never be this young again.

1. Change your mindset.

One of the most fool-proof ways to overcome any obstacle in life is to reform your thinking surrounding it. Now, you obviously can’t think the pain away. However, you can change your thought process when dealing with the pain and how it affects your lifestyle. For many, chronic pain becomes debilitating and puts life experiences on hold. By cultivating a positive mindset, you may be able to overcome the struggle of getting out of bed in the morning just by simply being more optimistic. I know this sounds altogether too idealistic, but it really can at least help.

When you feel like lying in bed all day and the pain seem unbearable, just sit up and think to yourself, “How can I make this a better day?” Even if it’s something as simple as doing some yoga poses on your bedroom floor or getting up to make yourself a cup of tea. Taking action to do something that brings you joy will bring you even closer to persevering.

2. Find relief.

Relief is a destination reached through many different routes. Depending on your journey, the end result might look a little bit different for you. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. While your physical pain may never go away for good, your life isn’t over and you will find a way to persevere. We’re so lucky that modern medicine has allowed some relief for the physical symptoms of chronic pain. When you’re in your 20s, there are also a lot of other natural remedies available that could help you cope.

Many have found relief through exercise and meditation. And don’t be ashamed if you need medication to get you through — everyone’s journey is different.

Each day will be a different struggle, especially since you’re a young adult and most likely just figuring your life out. The last thing you want to be worrying about is your illness. Finding relief starts with not letting the pain define you and taking the necessary steps towards getting some sort of relief — whatever that means for you.

3. Seek support.

If you’re on The Mighty, chances are that you already know there is a huge community here to help you through. However, seeking support in real life is also so important. With chronic pain, it can sometimes be so frustrating to enlist the help and support of a family member or friend because it’s difficult to explain something that really doesn’t make any sense. And it’s even more difficult to understand if you haven’t gone through it yourself.

Regardless of these struggles, seek help from your loved ones. Even though they might not fully comprehend your pain, their support and encouragement along the way will help you find hope. Having a shoulder to lean on never hurt anyone. And as far as support from those also struggling — the online world offers huge amounts of loving, empathetic friends who are ready to lend an ear or email feed.

When you’re in your 20s, a sense of community is extremely important and can be just the ticket to finding some sort of solace.

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Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

Originally published: December 29, 2016
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