Mindfulness The Solution to Pain
If you’ve heard of Buddhism and meditation, then you may have also come across the term, ‘mindfulness.’ Religion aside, however, mindfulness has been proven to be a powerful psychological tool that can help us deal with many of our problems, ranging from pain, to parenting, to work related stress. So what is it, how does it work, and what does it have to do with medical conditions?
Very basically, mindfulness is the practice of ‘being in the moment.’ Most of us spend a great deal of time thinking of the past or the future, and not focusing on the present moment. However, by focusing on the present moment without making any judgements and simply ‘just being’ can help us in all sorts of profound ways.
In terms of relief from chronic pain, you would naturally think that focusing ‘on the pain’ rather than away from it would be of no help at all, and even make things worse. The practice of mindfulness for pain however, makes us focus on the pain without judgement, forcing us to take a new perspective on pain. By putting your attention onto the pain, you can accept it more easily, as well as notice how it changes throughout the day. Although this might seem counterintuitive, it makes pain more manageable. Rather than feeling out of control of your body, focusing on the pain has been shown to relieve all the negative thought processes associated with it. Thinking of mindfulness as another tool in your armoury, it could be worth a try.