Distraction Pain is actually a survival mechanism designed to get our attention, but when pain is chronic, it can become more of an emotional issue, says Singles. “It keeps getting in your face and demanding attention,” she says. Focusing elsewhere means the pain isn’t hogging all your attention. This could simply be focusing on other parts of the body one at a time to induce progressive relaxation or another activity such as reading or watching a movie. “Positive distractions are very helpful because the more you focus on pain, guaranteed the worse you’re going to feel,” she says.