Re-Versing Your Pain (In-Versing Your Life: A Poetry Workbook for Those Living with Chronic Pain 3)


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This characterization fits the example of waiting in line. But we should test it against more than one example. Consider a little girl waiting for Christmas. She grows impatient as she waits. Or consider a man climbing a hill. So he has a good estimate of how long it will take. But the longer he climbs the more impatient he gets. As that becomes clear, he realizes that the climb is going to cost him more than he thought in terms of pain. These examples suggest the following adjustment to our account of impatience. What happens if, in the meantime, he learns of a new opportunity to make money.

This new opportunity should take only 2 weeks, and is expected to pay well if all goes according to plan. Before learning of the side project, he was content to work on the original project at the original pace. Now he grows impatient.

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None of the costs of completing the original project went up. What went up are his opportunity costs. That makes things simple. It turns out we can pack a pretty good functional definition of impatience into a single sentence. Now, why? Why do we have impatience in our repertoire of emotions -- especially when it can cost us dearly at times? Impatience can serve us well at times. And that helps us understand why the emotion is part of our standard emotional repertoire.

But sometimes it costs us. And that helps us narrow our question down to this: why does impatience sometimes cause us to make irrational decisions? Not everyone is impatient to the same degree. Some people are consistently more impatient than they should be. They are visibly more agitated than others in the face of unexpected delays. In contrast, some people are overly patient, sticking with existing courses of action long after the time it makes sense to do so.

When a trait varies, and the environment varies, one expression of that trait will fit a given situation better than others. And in a different situation the roles might be reversed. And it might be that those who fall somewhere in between will do reasonably well in both environments. But what does that mean for our experience in the modern world? Are there reasons to think impatience costs all of us, or at least most of us, more than it used to? There are reasons to think that impatience is more costly today than it used to be.

On the ancestral savannah we had to decide whether or not to persist in a hunt. When it took longer than expected to find game it was time to consider alternative strategies for obtaining food. Impatience was often good. If it took more than two days to reach a goal, perhaps it was time to switch strategies or switch goals.

But today we have goals that require much more persistence. Our projects can take months. And if we get impatient after two days, we might never finish a project that adds up to anything. With that said, there are also reasons to think impatience is rewarded more today than it was 50 years ago. Fifty years ago companies had five year plans.


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Now five year plans are mostly a joke. CEOs and entrepreneurs today must pay much more attention to the new, and they must be willing to consider changing course much more frequently than they used to. Sticking to a five year plan is a good way to bring a hopelessly outdated product to market.

On balance impatience is probably rewarded more today than it was 50 years ago, but still much less than it was on the savannah. With that said, this much is clear: we have more opportunities to be impatient today. Our world is much more complicated than it used to be. Our technology is more complicated. Our social lives are more complicated.

Our personal schedules are more complicated. And the more complicated things become, the more the various parts of our lives will collide with one another. Many of those collisions will bring unexpected costs. And those unexpected costs will lead to impatience.

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We also have a greater number of attractive ways to spend our time. We have video games, leisure sports , movies, books, parties, smartphones, and facebook. All this means that, on average, we spend a lot more time reconsidering the value of our current activity than did our ancient ancestors. On average we are almost certainly more impatient than we used to be.

And that means our lives are filled with second guessing, agitation, and, at times, irrational choices. Patience is not always a virtue. Sometimes we should pay close attention as we grow impatient. We should consider whether there might be ways to speed things up. And we should consider whether there are better uses of our time, attention, and energy. Knee-jerk patience is for sheep. But we also know impatience can prove counterproductive. So lets consider how we might manage our impatience better. That way we can make fewer irrational choices, and avoid much of the inner agitation that comes with modern life.

Ideally we would heed our impatience when it makes sense to heed it, and otherwise ignore or prevent it. And it often takes time, attention, and energy to make those decisions on the fly. But there are things we can do, and our account of impatience will show the way. Our account tells us when we are likely to be triggered, it tells us what those triggers are, and it tells us what we are likely to do when we get triggered.

And that gives us a measure of control. Specifically, we can change our environment so we get triggered less often, and we can re-program our responses when we do get triggered, so we make better choices. Impatience is triggered when we become aware of increased costs for pursuing our current goal. So if we can shield ourselves from learning about increased costs, we can shield ourselves from becoming impatient. And, even if you resist the temptation, your attention will be divided. Your mind will spend energy and time figuring out which is the better use of your time.

Your opportunity costs will have gone up, and, because of that, you will become impatient while you write. And the impatience itself will add attentional costs on top of that. And we should also shield ourselves on larger time scales. Sometimes there are better uses for our time. So how do we strike the balance? We can alternate between periods of openness to new information and periods of shielding ourselves from new information. For instance, we could make a habit of starting every workday working on our core creative projects for two hours, completely shielded from the outside world.

Then we can allow ourselves to check our email, our phone messages, and our social media accounts. And we can repeat that pattern until we reach the end of our work day. On the larger scale we can divide our larger projects into one-week chunks. We can make up our minds that we will complete each one-week chunk no matter what, while refusing to think about alternative uses of our work time.

Then, between chunks, maybe every Friday afternoon, or Monday morning, we can allow ourselves to consider whether there are more important or more promising projects to work on. That way we can work with undivided attention, and create substantial value every single week. And the risk of missing out if something better does come along will be kept minimal. We can reduce the costs of impatience by embracing cycles of patience and impatience. Despite our best efforts to schedule our impatience, we will find ourselves triggered out of the blue at times.

And we want to make sure, in those cases, that we make good decisions. What should we do when we find ourselves in traffic surrounded by clueless drivers? What should we do at the grocery store when the customer in line ahead of us pulls out a fistfull of coupons, fumbles with small change, and questions every other price as the clerk rings it up?

Now go get on with the rest of your life! Change the things you can, and document all the evidence against the people who claim to "serve" and in no way actually do, as can be determined by their actions. The things they will save to save themselves will also be documented, and i will do unto them as they have done to me. Give them the finger, generally speaking.

For example, while all i really need to what I AM doing today is a computer, it is in no way representative of what I AM actually supposed to be doing, but am being intentionally prevented from doing by people who today really do believe they somehow do write the rules for God. Ignorance does not apply in this case and the religious may well be able to disguise their contempt of God to the people, not so much with anyone else.

Simply a matter of historical record now. They will believe in HIM, not unless they actually have something to believe in, and as per the progressive war against "god" they intend for people to believe in the "other guys". The Muslims version is that this is an intellectual exercise. So far MAN has clearly failed to fulfill their obligations. Attacking me will not make those "obligations" disappear, but it will be duly recorded. I have wrangled with this topic a few times myself and ultimately what it has always boiled down to for me and what I think is coming across from you is awareness.

Becoming aware of yourself in the moment of impatience, about analyzing why it is taking hold of you, about being able to disengage just enough so that you can attempt an objective look at the situation as opposed to the emotionally charged, subjective point of view.

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For me, that slight shift in perspective is usually enough to prevent the emotion from taking over and allows me time to make the most rational choice possible with the information at hand. It doesn't necessarily mean I will make the best choice - I have once moved through 4 checkout lines thinking I was making the best choice each time - but it does give me a much greater feeling of control over the choice, as well as help me to realize that some most choices are made without enough information, and there really was no possibility of knowing that as I jumped lines the assistant would decide to take lunch.

I really like your solution of switching between productive 'closedness' and openness; I think the challenge is deciding on the frequency of the switches as each task, each person will demand a different approach. It is always a tough moment when one is confronted with many possible futures and has to weigh them up against each other. I am drawn to a quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald, as for me the crux of impatience is having to hold many versions of yourself in your mind at the same time, and then choose one:.

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function - F. Scott Fitzgerald. I'm not a fan of awareness for awareness sake. Often we need to lose ourselves in the activity itself, not in our present experience of the activity. As noted, the omission of a usual care group makes it unclear how the changes we observed compare with similar patients not enrolled in the study.

This large 2-site randomized clinical trial of a positive psychological intervention for chronic pain fills important gaps in the literature by testing the use of such interventions in older veterans with chronic pain, testing for racial differences in response to such interventions, and comparing their long-term effects with those of a strong control group. Unfortunately, the results do not support the use of positive psychological interventions as a stand-alone psychological treatment for pain among white or African American veterans with knee OA.

Adaptations are needed to identify specific positive psychological intervention components that resonate with this population, and the potential additive effect of incorporating positive psychological interventions into comprehensive pain treatment regimens should be considered. Published: September 21, Corresponding Author: Leslie R. Author Contributions: Drs Hausmann and Youk had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

There was no involvement of his duties in this role with the research study. Dr Hausmann reported receiving grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs during the conduct of the study. No other disclosures were reported. Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Philadelphia , and others assisted with data collection; these individuals were compensated for their contributions.

Dr Parks was compensated for her contributions. Home Issues Specialties For Authors. All Rights Reserved. Download PDF Comment. Figure 1. View Large Download. Table 1. Baseline Characteristics by Treatment Group and Race.

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Supplement 1. Trial Protocol. Supplement 2. Reasons for Ineligibility eTable 2.


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Development of a positive psychology intervention for patients with acute cardiovascular disease. Heart Int.


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    Can this patient read and understand written health information? Use of a self-report-generated Charlson comorbidity index for predicting mortality. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Behavioral risk factor surveillance system questionnaire. Accessed February 17, Stata Statistical Software: Release Natural history of pain and disability among African-Americans and Whites with or at risk for knee osteoarthritis: a longitudinal study. Do positive psychology exercises work? Web-Based positive psychology interventions: a reexamination of effectiveness.

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    Re-Versing Your Pain (In-Versing Your Life: A Poetry Workbook for Those Living with Chronic Pain 3) Re-Versing Your Pain (In-Versing Your Life: A Poetry Workbook for Those Living with Chronic Pain 3)
    Re-Versing Your Pain (In-Versing Your Life: A Poetry Workbook for Those Living with Chronic Pain 3) Re-Versing Your Pain (In-Versing Your Life: A Poetry Workbook for Those Living with Chronic Pain 3)
    Re-Versing Your Pain (In-Versing Your Life: A Poetry Workbook for Those Living with Chronic Pain 3) Re-Versing Your Pain (In-Versing Your Life: A Poetry Workbook for Those Living with Chronic Pain 3)
    Re-Versing Your Pain (In-Versing Your Life: A Poetry Workbook for Those Living with Chronic Pain 3) Re-Versing Your Pain (In-Versing Your Life: A Poetry Workbook for Those Living with Chronic Pain 3)
    Re-Versing Your Pain (In-Versing Your Life: A Poetry Workbook for Those Living with Chronic Pain 3) Re-Versing Your Pain (In-Versing Your Life: A Poetry Workbook for Those Living with Chronic Pain 3)
    Re-Versing Your Pain (In-Versing Your Life: A Poetry Workbook for Those Living with Chronic Pain 3) Re-Versing Your Pain (In-Versing Your Life: A Poetry Workbook for Those Living with Chronic Pain 3)
    Re-Versing Your Pain (In-Versing Your Life: A Poetry Workbook for Those Living with Chronic Pain 3) Re-Versing Your Pain (In-Versing Your Life: A Poetry Workbook for Those Living with Chronic Pain 3)
    Re-Versing Your Pain (In-Versing Your Life: A Poetry Workbook for Those Living with Chronic Pain 3) Re-Versing Your Pain (In-Versing Your Life: A Poetry Workbook for Those Living with Chronic Pain 3)

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