A woman sitting cross-legged and breathing deeply

Getting Through the Hard Days

Living with chronic pain isn’t easy. Living with endometriosis, we’re all too familiar with this fact.

The pelvic pain – especially when it feels like a barbed wire fence closing in on you – is hard physically but it’s also hard mentally and emotionally.

Supporting your mental and emotional health

While the physical pain is very real, I’ve found that I needed to give just as much attention and support to my mental and emotional health. There are certainly many was to do this, and the key is finding what works best for you, but I want to share two strategies that I’ve found especially helpful.

For me two of my greatest tools on the hard days are adjusting my outlook and my breath work.

Now you may hear “adjusting your outlook” as a nice idea, but not especially helpful. And I completely understand because I’m also not a person who believes that thinking a few happy thoughts will make it all go away. But I started to notice when I felt pain coming on – or not going away – it was really hard not to get down about it and have that carrier over into other areas of my life.

A realistic approach to outlook

What was my outlook on my diagnosis of endometriosis? On a good day, I may say that “it’s bound to get better.” On a bad day, I’d be more likely to tell you that “I’m in a never-ending cycle of pain.” What I’ve learned over the years is the outlook I have on a situation or the meaning that I give something can have an impact on my direct experience with it.

So, I started to remind myself of the incredible community that I’m part of (this one here!) of strong endo sisters who are all in this with me, and all the research that’s being done on both conventional and functional medicine to help us overcome endometriosis.

I focused on the hope, the healing that’s still ahead and the connection we have among us in this community. The second tool is breath work. This definitely comes from the yoga instructor in me. It’s one of the most comforting things to me when I’m in a moment of stress or pain. I immediately focus on my breathing.

The benefits of breathing

Did you know that deep belly breathing can:

  • Shift the body (and mind) into a state of relaxation
  • Trigger the release of endorphins which can help to relieve pain
  • Increase energy
  • Stimulate the lymphatic system which supports our body’s natural detoxification process

These are just a few of the many health benefits that you can experience when you start taking deeper belly breaths.Best of all, it’s free, always available and can bring some almost immediate benefits. Will it make the pain go away immediately? No. But it can ease the moment that you’re in and help to make those harder days just a little easier.

So, what do you find especially helpful in getting through the hard days? We all get them, so let’s hear what helps you!

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