Key messages

  • Stress is a common experience, and can affect us physically and emotionally. Try to recognize your personal signs of stress, and reduce stress levels by adopting a healthy lifestyle such as eating well-balanced and regular meals and exercising regularly.

  • Anxiety, depression and fear of pain are common ways in which chronic pain can negatively affect your mood. However, there are many things that you can do to manage your mood.

  • People who catastrophize about their pain tend to take longer to recover, because they over-perceive the threat associated with their pain.

  • Drugs and alcohol are unsafe and unhealthy ways of dealing with stress. Instead, focus on changing your negative thoughts to more balanced thoughts.

  • Thoughts only become important if you let them become important.

  • If you experience sadness, worry, lack of energy, disruptive thoughts or an inability to enjoy the things you used to enjoy before, you should speak with a member of your healthcare team.

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