When you look at the word “thought” or “think,” what comes to mind? There’s the first clue—we conceptualize a thought in our mind. In the following blog posts, we will explore the point of balance most directly related to our minds and the net product of our minds’ work—our thoughts. Your thoughts have a powerful influence on the pain you experience, as well as on how you respond to it. And how you respond to chronic pain can either promote recovery or hinder it. According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, thought is “…reasoning power; the power to imagine; a developed intention or plan; or something (as an opinion or belief ) in the mind…”* Thoughts and thinking are based on considering information that we come in contact with, analyzing this information, and forming conclusions as to what it means. Where do our thoughts come from? How are they formed and changed? Before we discuss the mechanics of thought, we will present extremes of thought common to people with chronic pain, as well as those with addiction. Extreme thinking creates or significantly contributes to the experience of pain and to an overall lack of balance in our lives. Unchallenged, unhealthy thoughts create a burden too heavy for you to carry. This blog post is an excerpt from Pain Recovery – How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain by Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM, Frank Szabo, LADC, Daniel Shiode, PhD, Robert Hunter, PhD; Published by Central Recovery Press (CRP).