Living with Chronic Pain
Providing Motivation Without Being “Pushy”
Source: WebMD, American Cancer Society
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Most people realize that becoming healthier involves participating in regular physical activity, consuming healthy foods, prioritizing sleep, and managing stress; however, it is not always an easy task. When a loved one is struggling with living a healthier life, providing motivation can help.
Motivating a loved one can also be viewed as being “pushy” or aggressive. Five ways to provide motivation without being pushy include, but are not limited to, the following:.
- Ensure what they need is readily available. Filling the refrigerator with pre-cut fruits and vegetables can make it easier to eat healthy. Ensuring the bedroom is dark, cool, and free from distractions, or that the bed has clean and comfortable sheets, can encourage the prioritization of sleep.
- Join them on their journey. Offering to go for a walk with a loved one, or practicing deep breathing together during a stressful time, is much more effective than giving unsolicited advice. Sitting on the couch while suggesting they go for a walk, or telling them to calm down and relax, can have a negative effect.
- Celebrate progress. Becoming consistent with physical activity or managing stress is difficult. Regression may follow a period of progress. However, celebrating accomplishments and improvements provides motivation.
- Avoid nagging, criticizing or judging. Negativity can make a person quit trying and feel worse about themselves. Staying positive and supportive provides encouragement that is needed to stay steadfast.
- Realize that what works for one may not work for the other. Going for a run before work each day may help one person stay healthy; however, it may be impossible for others, especially if dealing with chronic pain. Completing a short yoga practice before bed may be more feasible and effective for them. Getting regular massages may help one person manage stress, while someone else may prefer soaking in a warm bath. Encouraging the loved one to do whatever works best for them is motivating.
Additional source: Medium