Motivation is probably the most important tool when it comes to recovering from pain. Without motivation, healing from an injury or making a lifestyle change to help reduce pain is nearly impossible. Motivation is the energy and focus needed to achieve a goal. It is an internal process that helps bring you closer towards your goal and makes you more accountable for your actions. For example, if your goal is weight-loss, motivation is the process whereby before eating something sugary you will ask yourself: does this action move me closer or further away from my goal.
One of the main hindrances to motivation is procrastination. Procrastination develops when you have an inner belief that blocks you from your goal. For example, if I believe I can not lose weight because my family is unhealthy, this belief becomes a block to my personal goals.
Another example which we commonly see at the clinic is this: because of my bad X-ray/MRI report my back pain will not get better. Most of the time this is not true, the human body is capable of recovering and improving despite what an X-ray or MRI report might show. However patients may lose motivation to exercise or stretch based on a false belief that may have no merit. Instead of focusing on activities that can help with recovery they instead focus that energy on results that may not be the cause of their pain.
As health practitioners, our main role is to help motivate our patients, to help encourage more exercise, better workplace ergonomics, healthier eating habits and better stretching routines. Our goal is to help our patients make choices that lead to a healthier life for themselves and their families. Usually we find that most patients don’t require answers to their pain, but instead require a way to unblock negative beliefs. This can be quite difficult at times, as some of these beliefs have been around for a long time. Usually if the symptoms are manageable, the improvement the patient receives from care is enough to motivate the patient to perform the correct activities to help with their pain. However, if the pain is complex, like in sciatica, it can be much more difficult to break down negative beliefs, and to motivate the patient to get better.
It’s in these instances we would like to propose a few simple techniques to help overcome negative beliefs. We have listed them below for your convenience:
A few additional points that are worthy to reflect on:
I hope this article helps motivate all of us to make better choices and to set achievable goals, whatever they may be. I wish you the best on your journey to a healthier life!