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The “3 R’s” I listed in my last post,–Recognize, Reframe, Reclaim–,sound great on paper, and using them has a positive effect on overall wellness, even for people with chronic pain. But it takes work. Roll up your sleeves: here’s how to put these steps to work.

R#1 – RECOGNIZE the mind-body connection

Verbalizing positive thoughts has an uplifting effect on a person’s spirit, which creates a sense of well-being. Some patients understand this naturally. They are in pain, but they simply move ahead, enhancing productivity and enjoying day-to-day living. They are eager to know what foods to eat to reduce inflammation and how acupuncture might help.

These patients know that controlling their negative thoughts and stress is key. They are no longer captive to their pain.

Next time you think a negative thought, replace it with one of these positive ones instead:

“Today is a good day.”
“This is a step in the right direction.”
“I haven’t discovered it yet, but I will find a solution.”
“I can make good choices to ease the problem.”

R#2 – REFRAME your actions to bring best results. Take responsibility for incorporating the steps that bring relief

If you take responsibility for your pain, you can keep it from dictating your life. Here are just two health-responsible actions to consider:

* Explore the best of east and west.

In addition to seeing your doctors regularly for checkups, be open to the holistic world to balance body, mind, and spirit. For instance, acupuncture can be used along with pain- relieving prescriptions.

* Learn what foods affect your condition.

For pain management, add colorful vegetables and fruits, the spice turmeric, and healthy fats from fish, nuts, and avocados. Avoid sugars, caffeine, soft drinks, and, for some, the nightshade family (eggplants, tomatoes, white potatoes, tobacco). Helpful supplements include omega-6 fatty acids (fish oils), ] bioflavonoids, and glucosamine..

R#3 – RECLAIM the health you deserve. Life is to be lived to its fullest—pain and all

Pain is real, and its effect on our bodies and minds is real. Don’t stop with acknowledging your pain. Take inventory of what doesn’t hurt. Maybe you tolerate constant leg pain, but your shoulders are powerful and trouble-free. Maybe cold, damp weather triggers your joint pain, but the week has been warm and clear. Maybe you’ve discovered a spice that relieves your symptoms and tastes great, too. Whatever form it takes, celebrate the positive in your health and life.

Better health takes courage. Don’t be afraid to claim what’s good for fear it won’t last.

Beginning right now, put the 3 R’s to work: formulate one positive thought. Commit to taking one positive action. And say aloud, “I deserve good health.”