Benefits of Cultivating Trust of Patients with Chronis Pain Diseases


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Living with constant pain and discomfort can be taxing on an individual, living with a chronic illness. Doing the correct thing for one’s body is a subjective issue, because of how different each person’s bodily functions operate. Withstanding the physical pain of an illness is only one aspect of life when living with a uncomfortable health condition. Studies have shown that “because of the unpredictability of chronic illnesses like ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia and Lyme disease, it’s easy to find ourselves getting anxious about the kinds of things that can bring on a crash or a flare”. A flare is a painful wave of discomfort created by the chronic illness existing inside of an afflicted individual. Flares are not only painful, they are in a sense, annoying and irritating. On another note, uncomfortable situations can occur at any moment, and this can cause a flare. Flares can occur at the most inopportune moments, but they can be controlled using specific methods. Researchers believe that “sometimes, just being where we are is so unpleasant that we feel a huge pressure to do the things that we hope will make us better. Unfortunately though, this anxiety, pressure and desperate need to control something that really isn’t fully under our control can work against our well-being”. Anxiety is a natural human reaction to seemingly stressful situations. However, anxiety among other human emotions, can cause patients with chronic pain illness to flare up. Stress has been a part of the human experience for as long as man has been on the earth. Over quite some time, experts have created highly useful and effective techniques to remove stress. These techniques can be used in the daily lives of the individuals that suffer from chronic pain conditions. In order for these treatments to work, the individual with the chronic pain illness needs to be able to embrace trust into their lifestyle. Trust has many beneficial aspects associated with it. By cultivating trust in the correct manor, patients with chronic pain illnesses can have more productive lives.

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What is cultivating trust?

“Trust” is a term most often used when concerning the topic of confidence. By definition, trust is the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something or the belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of a specific topic. Trust is subjective in the sense of how individuals view trust differently. However, trust can be much more than an emotion, trust can be a feeling. One of the fastest ways to gain trust in one’s self is to relax and remember what is important. Getting better should be the main priority of the individuls with chronic pain illnesses. To reach a healthier lifestyle, the patient needs to trust that they are going to gain a healthier lifestyle. For the individuals that deal with chronic pain issues, the validity from discovering a functional treatment method for their painful symptoms is a necessity. By relaxing, an individual is able to release the stress weighing on their minds. When this is achieved, the likelihood of a pain flare is greatly decreased. Patients with chronic pain illness need to trust that their treatments are going to work if their health condition is going to improve. Julie Holliday later goes on to say that, “obviously, I still wanted things to improve, but I tried to avoid attaching myself to what I wanted that improvement to look like” (Holliday). Progress is one of the most fundamental aspects to health, healing and eventually, completion. Unfortunately, progress does not occur overnight in most cases. When it comes to the topic of chronic pain, cultivating trust is an excellent step towards gaining progress. Essentially, cultivating trust is the first part of the process of surviving with a chronic illness.

How to cultivate trust

When living with a chronic pain condition, cultivating trust is not always an easy task to perform for several different reasons. Perhaps the biggest reason stems from the fact that it is fairly difficult to believe that the pain from a chronic illness will subside. If an individual wishes to cultivate trust, they must trust in themselves and their situation. Julia Holliday states that “I also experimented with the idea that everything is perfect just as it is; any imperfections are things that I can learn from so they are useful anyway. When I did manage to achieve a more relaxed state as a result of these experiments, I made sure I paid attention to how much better it felt” (Holliday). When a treatment method works, or if there is a break between painful flares, the individual with that chronic illness should take advantage of that moment. Stress relieving methods such as massage therapy and breathing techniques can also be utilized during this time. However, these moments can easily be corrupted by negative thoughts and attitudes. Julie Holliday explains that “one of the things that can really get in the way of being able to trust is how much we want things to turn out a particular way. I tried to develop a curiosity for how things would turn out, rather than thinking” (Holliday). When it comes to chronic pain, there are no scheduled time periods for when a flare can occur. In fact, even during moments of rest, flares can occur and disrupt the flow of progress. Chronic pain sufferers need to cultivate enough strength and trust to realize that they can overcome their conditions. Julie Holliday strongly believes that “the most helpful thing for cultivating trust was aiming to focus just on the here and now. When you’re not paying attention to the future you don’t need to worry or be in control”. Focusing on the present can be a large obstacle to overcome, but it is not impossible to do. With a strong amount of will power, much can be accomplished, including enjoying the “here and now”. To gain will power, the individual with a chronic illness must trust in themselves that they can get through their painful issues.

How Trust Works

Since trust is a feeling that can be found in oneself, it can be utilized at the will of the possessor. In fact, trust works as one of the strongest stress remedies available outside of modern medicine. Julie Holliday explains that “without the tension of worry and the pressure of needing to control, it’s easier to relax and far less energy is wasted. Feeling at ease in the here and now, is very energy efficient and healing, so things do work out better” (Holliday). Trust works in a positive fashion, depending on how it is utilized. Holliday explains this by stating that “if something goes wrong, you have more energy to deal with it better because you haven’t been wasting it on worry and tension” (Holliday). Trust requires total commitment if it is going to work for any individual. Sometimes an individual requires a “kind of distraction coupled with a wait-and-see attitude. That makes it easier to notice the benefits of trust” (Holliday). Since Trust is internal, it is a tool that can be reached at any given moment. Overall, trust can only work if the individual believes that trust is a viable option for finding relief.

Cultivating trust can be very beneficial to any individual that seeks to alleviate their stress and or pain. Julie Holliday claims that “learning to trust isn’t easy. To be able to do what it takes, it’s really important to believe that it’s what you need to do. Whether it makes a difference to the future or not, is kind of irrelevant because most importantly, it makes a difference to now” (Holliday). Every day, individuals with chronic pain issues have to deal with their uncomfortable flares. If a moment of peace can be reached, then that moment needs to be cultivated before it is too late.

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