Mindfulness when dealing with chronic pain.

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GOALS:

To experience the world in the ‘here’ and ‘now’ and only live for this moment – you can’t take a breath for the past or future, only this moment exists and therefore you need to stop being overly pre-occupied with thoughts of the future, yourself, or pain.

 To be in more control of your own mind, instead of your mind controlling you.

Not to change, avoid or get rid of unwanted thoughts or emotions, but simply allow them to be there, to come and go as they please.

To be aware that pain and tension is fluid and not solid - it changes!

MINDFULNESS IS ASSOCIATED WITH: 

       Lower pain intensity

       Less depression

       Less pain-related anxiety

       Greater physical and social ability

·       Less pain avoidance

 

MINDFULNESS BASICS 

 Observe: Just notice the experience without getting caught up in it, without reacting to it.

  Have a ‘Teflon mind’ letting experiences, feelings and thoughts come into your mind and slip right out.

 Watch thoughts coming and going, notice each feeling as it rises and falls. Notice what comes through your senses…

Describe: Put words on the experience, describe to yourself what is happening. Put a name on your feelings.

 When a feeling or thought arises, acknowledge it. For example acknowledge “That emotion was…” or “That thought was about…”

 Thoughts are often taken literally, that is, they become confused with facts (eg. ‘I feel unloved’ becomes ‘I am unlovable’).

Participate: Let yourself get involved completely in the moment, letting go of ruminating (over-thinking).

Become one with your experience, completely forgetting yourself in the moment.

Participate without separating yourself from the events and interactions, do this without self-consciousness.

Without judgement: Just the facts. See but DON’T EVALUATE.

   Focus on the ‘what’ not the ‘good’ or ‘bad’, the ‘terrible’ or the      ‘wonderful’, the ‘should’ or ‘should not’.

   Unglue your OPINIONS from the facts.

   In the moment: DO ONE THING AT A TIME...

   When you are eating, eat. When you are walking, walk. When you   are bathing, bathe.

  When you are in a group or a conversation, focus your attention     on the very moment you are in with the other person.

    UNHOOK thoughts, emotions and sensations that distract you,       place them on a cloud and watch them soar away.

                 Slowly breathe, take your time, put your thoughts on a leaf in a               stream and let them wash away. CONCENTRATE YOUR MIND.

 If you find you are doing two things at once, stop and go back to one thing at a time.

 
MINDFULNESS AND PAIN

  1. Become aware of your pain story, the things you tell yourself and the way you feel when you’re in pain and suffering. 
  2. Unhook yourself from that story; let it go, especially when you start to ruminate.
  3. Be aware of when there is extra tension created in your body by stress and use mindfulness to let this go.
  4. Physicalise your pain… give it a colour, shape, texture and allow it to be there; breathe into it, visualise.
  5. Strategies that will soothe that pain include breathing warmth into it, dissolving the pain. Visualise it melting, fading away…

Love,

    Angela xo