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  • Writer's pictureMotto Health

Ending the Blame & Shame Game: Bust the mind-body myth for good!

At Motto, we are huge proponents of talking about emotional wellness and healthy coping, two of our 7 Pillars of Care. We do this because we know from a lot of clinical experience that reducing stress and negative emotions is a really effective strategy for reducing pain and flares.

But sometimes, discussions about the mind-body connection can lead people to feel blame or shame. These feelings just cause more stress! That’s definitely not the message we want to give. So, let’s talk about what we do NOT mean when we encourage you to understand the connection between your mind and body.

#1: It does NOT mean chronic inflammatory conditions are “all in your head.”

Too many people with chronic pain and fatigue that stem from auto-immune conditions have been told this over the years, especially women–and it makes us mad! It’s not true, and makes no sense.

#2: It does NOT mean your condition is your fault.

You don’t have an autoimmune condition because you are too stressed or sad, or you brought it on yourself somehow. The conditions happen because of an interplay of genetic and environmental factors that are much too complex to reduce to simple cause and effect.

#3: It does NOT mean your pain is not real.

Pain is real, however it happens. It is true that pain is influenced by more than just the physical conditions of your body–your emotions and social context influence it, too. But still, when you feel physical pain, that’s real. Our goal is to help you reduce it, not to pretend it’s not there.

#4: It does NOT mean that you should stop taking your medications.

When we say that healthy coping strategies can help your pain, we mean in addition to medications and other lifestyle interventions, not instead of them. The winning strategy is a holistic approach, and that includes medications that reduce disease and prevent disability.

So, what IS true about the connection between mood and pain?

What’s true (and exciting!) is that there are a number of strategies that are in your hands to help you reduce pain. And, these strategies have the added benefit of encouraging you to do the things you love, decrease your worry, gather strength from your social network, and overall lead a rich, fulfilling life.

To learn more about healthy coping and emotional wellness, be sure to check out our other blog posts here and as always, if you would like to learn more about how Motto can help you live and thrive with an autoimmune condition, visit us on the web at today!

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