I received an e-mail from an injured athlete last week:

I met with a neurosurgeon yesterday, who said there was nothing ‘modern medicine’ could do to ‘fix me’. He suggested cortisone injections and 4 solid months of absolutely no impact-related activity (ie: running, crossfit, etc)
To me, this was like a death sentence. I am an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, snowboarder, not to mention I have fallen in love with Crossfit. Up until this instance I have never felt better….. 

She reached out to me with questions about coping. She is in pain, can no longer do her daily routine, and is unsure about the advice she is receiving. This is a very typical injury scenario and why we are working on a prototype in our lab at Stanford that provides meditation-based coping messages & social support to adults in sudden pain:

SMS Morphine Drip: In this prototype, the target users are injured athletes who are experiencing stress as a result of physical pain. Personalized and generic SMS-based calmors such as soothing messages, images, inspiring stories, and pain assessment prompts are delivered via text message. The system operates in either a user-initiated ‘pull’ manner, where the user texts an SOS when in pain, or system-initiated ‘push’, where a ‘pain check’ is sent out during the user’s typical peak pain times of the day. This gives users a sense of control over their own pain management, and seeks to decrease the subjective cognitive and emotional suffering that accompanies physical pain.

Being mindful of how various factors affect your mood and adjusting your outlook is one of the greatest practices to enhancing interpersonal effectiveness and recruiting opportunity-based emotions. We can use our emotions for better healing and happiness.

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