How To Live Well
with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide
Table of Contents

Introduction: Making Peace with a Life Upside Down

I. Skills to Help with Each Day

1. Educating Family and Friends about Chronic Pain and Illness

2. Letting Go: A Not-To-Do List for the Chronically Ill

3. Asking for Help Can Be Your Gift to Others

4. Developing the Confidence to Say “No”

5. When the “Want Monster” Whispers in Your Ear

6. Complaining Is a Recipe for Suffering

7. Dealing with Tough Choice after Tough Choice

8. The Many Benefits of Patience

9. Cultivating Kindness


II. Mindfulness: Potent Medicine for Easing the Symptoms of Chronic Illness

10. Mindfulness Can Ease Physical Suffering by Easing Mental Suffering

11. Mindfulness Practices That Address Physical Discomfort

12. Formal Mindfulness Meditation Can Help Your Mind Help Your Body


III. Responding Wisely to Troubling Thoughts and Emotions

13. Breaking Free from Stressful Thinking Patterns

14. When the Blues Come Calling

15. Surviving a Bad Mood with Grace

16. Shedding the Burden of Embarrassment


IV. Special Challenges

17. Invisibility: When You Look Fine to Others 

18. When You and Those You Love Are in Conflict

19. The Special Difficulties Faced by Young People Who Are Chronically Ill

20. Maximizing Your Chances of Success at the Doctor’s Office

21. Sick Upon Sick: Handling an Acute Illness While Chronically Ill

22. The Pesky Issue of Sleep

23. Longing for That Pre-Illness Life

24. The Uncertainty of It All

25. Taking Care of the Caregivers


V. Isolation and Loneliness

26. Quotations and Reflections on Loneliness

27. Healing Loneliness through Mindfulness

28. Coping with Isolation During the Holidays and Other Gatherings


VI. Enjoy the Life You Have

29. Beware of “Good Old Days Syndrome”

30. Why Not Me?

31. Don’t Let Envy and Resentment Keep You from Enjoying the Life You Have

32. Slow Down and Savor Life

33. Appreciating the Wondrousness of the Human Body


VII. For Family, Friends, Caregivers, and Anyone Concerned About Chronic Illness

34. Setting the Record Straight about Chronic Illness

35. What the Chronically Ill Hope Others Will Understand

36. “Oh No!” What the Chronically Ill Hope Others Won’t Say

37. “Thank You!” What the Chronically Ill Hope Others Will Say

38. What’s in a Name? The Harm Caused by Mislabeling Medical Conditions 

39. Letting Go: A Not-To-Do List for Caregivers

40. Lessons for the Healthy from the Land of the Sick


VIII. Last But Not Least

41. True Confessions

42. My Heartfelt Wishes for the Chronically Ill



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