Mindfulness Practice as Pain Therapy
If you’re living with physical pain, especially chronic pain, you know that it greatly affects your quality of life, your work, mental health, and even your relationships. It’s a relief to know that the practice of mindfulness has been proven—through extensive research—to help people manage their physical pain.
Mindfulness, awareness of the present moment, and paying attention without judgment are tools that can help a person focus his or her mind and body. It may not directly get rid of the physical pain, but it can help one manage the negative thoughts related to the pain. While these thoughts are normal, of course, we all know they can affect our mood and even increase our pain!
Mindfulness helps us relax our body, notice our breath and physical sensations, and calm down our thoughts and anxieties. It’s very important that we are able to handle our pain the right way so we don’t risk increasing it.
When we practice mindful awareness, we can feel which parts of our body are tense. And then we can soften these areas to release the tension.
Otherwise, mindfulness can also help us sort of ride the waves of our pain through observation and letting go (or, letting be). As the popular adage says, “what we resist, persists”. Therefore, we may need to just acknowledge and allow the pain to happen, before healing comes.
When we cannot change our experience, let us try to change our response to it. This goes for physical pain, as well. Mindfulness practice is a tool that can help us reduce our suffering by changing our emotional response to our physical pain.
Acknowledgment and acceptance often lead to understanding—it will most likely take time but daily mindfulness practice will go a long way.
If you want to go deeper into the practice of mindful awareness, Mindfulness Asia can help you. Please reach out to us for more information.