Every day, an estimated 50 million Americans battle chronic pain. It can be immensely difficult to persevere through pain that just won’t go away. But step one to taking your life back is empowering yourself to change what’s in your control.

Maybe your chronic pain accompanies a chronic condition, like psoriatic arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), or cancer. Maybe it’s lingered since an injury, or perhaps the source remains a mystery. No matter the cause, coping skills are essential.

What works to dial down pain can vary vastly from person to person. But insight from real people going through similar challenges could help you improve your approach. Here’s their hard-earned advice.