Updated: May 12
Increase your well-being & quality of life by practicing mindfulness for chronic pain. Learn how to take a mindful break in 5 minutes!
Chronic pain is a major problem in the United States. More than a third of the population, or roughly 116 million Americans, experience persistent pain.[*] Many factors can cause chronic pain, including injury, sickness, nerve damage, or emotional stress. It's tough to explain why some people suffer from chronic pain and others don't. Fortunately, there are natural therapies that can help relieve the symptoms. Mindfulness is one such alternative treatment.
How Can Taking a Mindful Break Help With Chronic Pain? What is Mindfulness Anyway?
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully engaged in our surroundings while remaining unaffected by outside events.[*] It's a human trait that everyone possesses. It isn't anything you have to fake. All you have to do is learn how to use it. We are all capable of being present. Mindfulness does not make us become someone else. Yet, we may enhance these inherent qualities with basic skills that will benefit ourselves and our loved ones.
Being present entails focusing on what's going on right now rather than worrying about the past or future. Mindfulness is an important tool for managing chronic pain.[*] It can help us be more connected to our bodies and the issues we're having.
Benefits of a Taking a Break for Mindfulness
Mindfulness has several advantages, including:
● Stimulating the body's natural relaxation response
● Lowering blood pressure[*]
● Improving well-being[*]
● Reducing pain intensity[*]
Furthermore, studies have shown that mindfulness meditation can help with stress.[*] Mindfulness is also linked to memory, although further study is necessary to confirm this.[*]
Related: 5 Powerful Mental Health Benefits of Journaling
Tips for Staying Mindful When You’re in Pain
When you're in pain, it's hard to feel happy in the present moment. But even if you're suffering from chronic pain, meditation may help you feel better. Take a deep breath. Consider what you're thinking and how you feel. Pay attention to the pain and let your body relax. Don't expect the discomfort to disappear immediately; Simply acknowledge it with a non-judgmental, yet attentive attitude.
Related: Soreness or Pain: What’s the Difference?
How To Practice Mindfulness
When you're in pain, it's a wonderful opportunity to practice mindfulness. To get started, you'll need to find a quiet place where you can focus on your breath. As you inhale, focus on the sensation of the air moving through your nose and throat. As you exhale, focus on the feeling of the air leaving your body. You may also want to focus on the sounds around you and the sensations you're feeling. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring your attention back to your breath.
Mindfulness Exercises for Pain Management
Mindfulness techniques for pain management can help you focus on the current moment and manage your pain. It's important to understand that mindfulness is a trait, whereas meditation is a technique. Mindfulness refers to an approach to living that you can develop through practice. A mindfulness meditation is a type of meditation practice. Here are a couple of things to consider:
Related: 9 Types of Journaling for Mental Health and Wellness: How to Create a Journal Routine
1. Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Management
One way to practice mindfulness is to meditate. Allow your thoughts to come and go without judgment while focusing on your breath. Practice breathing in and out, observing how it feels for the breath to enter and leave the body. When your mind starts to wander, simply acknowledge your thoughts without getting too involved in the details.
2. Body Scan
During a body scan, you'll focus on the sensations you feel in each part of your body. Start by getting comfortable. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath. Focus on a body part, such as your right foot. Pay attention to any tension or pain you may be feeling. Take your time, remembering to breathe. When you're ready, go on to the next body part. Continue until you've covered the entire body.
Related: Fitness Journaling 101: How To Keep a Fitness Journal
How a Mindfulness Journal Can Help
Chronic pain survivors are all too aware of the intense emotions that come with it, such as anger, sadness, loss, and grief. Writing in a mindfulness journal allows you to experience more peace of mind by managing these powerful emotions.[*] As a result of writing, you'll be better able to live in the present moment.
Check out our mindfulness journals to help you handle your emotions in a positive way and keep you inspired!
Medical Disclaimer: The information on this site, including text, graphics, images, and other material, is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your specific condition.