Lesson 2 of 10
In Progress

2) Accepting Chronic Pain

I-Engage May 1, 2021

In this lesson, you will learn about the benefits of accepting your pain. Accepting chronic pain as part of your life can help. Rather than struggling to avoid or reduce your pain, you can learn to observe, understand, and accept it.

It may be hard to accept that your life has changed. However, once you do, you can switch your energy and focus. You can focus on living your life in a new but fulfilling way. You can live alongside pain and still enjoy your life.

See our eLearning course on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for more strategies.

Here are some things you can do to embrace acceptance

It’s hard to accept that pain is a part of your life. Acceptance means being willing to take steps to move forward, despite the pain. It’s about shifting your attention from what you can’t change, to what you can change.

Why is acceptance important in managing persistent pain?

Waiting for health care teams or specialists to explain/fix your pain can lead to feeling frustrated and stressed. Many people with pain are stuck in this turmoil. Our brains tend to focus on trying to fix a problem rather than looking for helpful ways to live with it. Many people have found that the way forward is to be more accepting of their pain.

A hand holding a heart-shaped sign that says "I love me" on it, against a bright pink background.

This is not easy, and it is certainly not giving in or resigning yourself to pain. It can be hard to accept that your life is different now. However, if you can accept that things have changed, then it’s easier to switch your focus and energy towards living well.

Note: Acceptance is not giving up. It’s letting go of what you can’t change and diverting your energy toward doing more for yourself. You can still pursue treatment, while accepting your pain as it is today.

Your day to day life will be led by your plans and ideas of what is possible, not by the pain.

After acceptance, you can begin to experiment, learn, and use action plans and goals to stay on track. This is self-management. We will cover some self-management strategies later in this program. We will help you learn these skills, including how to pace yourself, set goals, and manage your moods.

In the next topic, you will learn specific skills to become more accepting of your pain. You can select the topic below or in the left-side menu to move forward.