How do you reduce stress in your life which intensifies chronic pain? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Lawrence Kosick, President and Co-Founder at GetSetUp, on Quora:

After decades on this earth, many of us start to get chronic pain. This is made worse by stress. There are a number of ways that we can help reduce both stress and chronic pain to help us feel well as we age.

  1. Take time to breath - Reduce stress by learning how to meditate and breathing exercises that can help you reduce stress and manage chronic pain. Learning how to leave your mind quieter can help you to feel better all around.
  2. Exercise - Exercise may sound counterintuitive since you have some pain but doing exercises that your doctor recommends is a great way to increase endorphins in your brain and help you feel better. Exercising can be as simple as swimming or walking to help you reduce stress and mitigate chronic pain.
  3. Eat well - We are what we eat is said as an expression for a reason. Foods high in fats, sugars, and inflammatory foods can actually cause us more stress not just physically but also mentally. As we age it becomes more important to eat anti-inflammatory foods like fatty fish, green vegetables, and fruits while reducing the intake of meats and refined carbohydrates.
  4. Sleep - So much of our stress, pain, and moods are based on if we have had enough sleep or not. It’s important to assure that we are sleeping well if we want to mitigate stress and pain. We can do this by keeping steady routines, avoiding caffeine later in the day, and making sure we have conditions that help us to sleep well.
  5. Gratitude - Staying positive makes a big difference. Writing out what you are feeling positive about each day can help you to manage your stress and may even help you manage your pain if you are keeping a pain journal to talk about ways to manage pain.
  6. Join support groups - We are a community-driven and having a community that is experiencing some of the same difficulties as you whether that is the same chronic pain or the same stress triggers can help you feel empowered. Many times other members of the support group might have insights that also help you, and even if not it will help you not feel as alone in your journey.
  7. Cut vices - A few vices really cause us more stress in the long run and can augment chronic pain two big ones are alcohol and smoking. Both of these have negative effects on our health and wellness. Cutting these out can help us to stay healthier and manage pain better.

There is no one magic way to reduce stress or manage chronic pain but focusing on areas and people in your life who are empowering and supportive is a great way to start. This can help you to assure that you are focusing on moving forward in difficult times and have the support to do so. Plus all these other tips assure you are in the right mindset and have resources that can support you when either stress or chronic pain gets in the way.

This question originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

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