Is Your Social Environment Negatively Affecting Your Health?
Although you may not be aware of it, your social environment could be negatively affecting your health. I am not talking about the bad consequences of frequently going out drinking, eating unhealthy meals, or taking unnecessary risks with your friends. Lots of people blog about those issues, and I’m sure you have heard their warnings about how such behavior is more damaging to your overall health than someone who doesn’t participate in these activities. They point out that the key to remaining healthy is to drink alcohol, eat fat-laden foods and take risks in moderation. If you don’t, your health (mental and physical) will generally start to deteriorate… probably sooner rather than later. However, this is not what I’m talking about. This post is about addressing the social environment of friends and family that people in chronic pain depend on or feel they depend on.
Maintaining Relationships Out Of Guilt
When you live with chronic pain, you can easily fall into the trap of convincing yourself that no one wants to be around you. This often isn’t the case, and it’s important to avoid the isolation that can eventually lead to depression. This means you should go ahead and stay in contact with friends and family. You can text your friends, participate in family activities, do anything that works for you. Having said that, you don’t want to add more stress to your life by maintaining toxic relationships simply because you don’t want to feel isolated.
When you live with chronic pain, you want people to respect how you’re feeling. You need understanding and support not a “pep talk”. When you need to cancel an engagement because your pain has become unbearable, that’s what your friend or family member should let you do. You don’t need someone who’ll say : “You were doing fine an hour ago. Just pop a pill and pull yourself together.”
Living with chronic pain can be exhausting both physically and mentally. So it’s not usual to give the answer “I’m fine” when you’re asked how you are doing. Here’s the deal. Lot’s of times someone who is not really aware of the misery you’re going through will be glad to take you at your word. In fact, they’ll be relieved—especially if you don’t look like you’re in pain.
Here’s the thing. Someone who is empathic with your situation will quickly learn to decode that when you say you’re “fine”, you really mean “ I feel like crap but I don’t want to talk about it.” He or she will understand that just because you don’t “look” like you’re in pain doesn’t mean that you’re okay. Maintaining positive relationships can be a great way to reduce stress and build self confidence. On the other hand, to move forward you may have to cut your toxic relationships loose.
Here’s a hard truth. For some individuals suffering from chronic pain, their social environment leads to comparison issues, which negatively affect their health. When you think about it, this speaks to most people. Almost everyone wants to be successful. That’s natural , and there’s nothing wrong with that. Still, when you’re out with friends who are talking about their most recent accomplishments and even bragging a little, it’s easy to start comparing yourself to others. This can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression. This is especially true for chronic pain sufferers. Your social environment, such as a new job, may be filled with people who didn’t know you before the pain. Before the pain you might have been the go to guy, or the original multitasking super mom and wonder woman.
Now you seem slower and less productive. What’s worse is that you seem angry, rude, and grumpy. You don’t mean to be. Your pain is transforming you into someone that you don’t want to be. “This is not me. who is this person?” You need to stop comparing yourself to who used to be and instead enhance the skills or learn new ones that will enable you to adapt to your new situation. This may mean doing a different job.
A big part of one’s social environment is dating. Almost everyone has the desire to meet that one special person who they can spend the rest of their life with. Social media makes it easier to meet people than ever before… even if you’re a bit introverted. Of course one should use caution. Yes, there are some good people out there. However, there are bad characters also. Suppose one, though, is doing the normal dating thing. If you suffer from chronic pain, this is a big issue that can come up: you are unreliable. Nothing can ever be planned because you can back out any minute. The truth is this: It’s not you who is unreliable. It’s your pain that’s unreliable. You need to have a partner who will understand the difference. So instead of getting mad that you canceled dinner, maybe he’ll bring dinner and give you a soothing massage. I would probably throw in some roses. Call me a romantic. Anyway, you get my drift. You need a partner who doesn’t invalidate your pain and make you feel like a jerk because you canceled on that new restaurant that everyone is talking about.
The Role of Social Media
Social media can play a big role in helping someone with chronic pain feel more connected to others in a similar situation. Unfortunately there is a big downside. For many people, it’s just plain addictive. Get this. A recent study indicates that 63 percent of Americans login to Facebook at least once a day. Forty percent of that number of users check their account several times a day.
Think about this interesting nugget. Lots of social media users have wider mood swings and are unhappier than users who don’t participate as frequently. Be careful.
Believe it or not, this addiction is so common that researchers have created the “Berge Facebook Addiction Scale.” This scale uses six types of criteria to measure an individual’s level of addiction. Answering “yes” to 4 out of 6 of the criteria questions indicates a problem.
Although your social environment can negatively affect your health, you can take steps that will make you a healthier person.
CTFO Changing the Future Outcome, I am on a mission to change pain to thriving! Ask me about CBD Oil and how life changing it is! And if you are ready to start your own really profitable business for FREE I welcome you to find more information, and a few videos, at my CBD info page.
If You Like This Website Click Here To Create Your Own Website For Free
I like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.