By Bhanu Joy Harrison, LCSW, SEP
As a UCLA trained Mindfulness Facilitator and Trauma Psychotherapist, I understand that living with chronic pain is like being in a long term, difficult relationship. There is frustration, anger, grief, loss and overwhelm. You may have a few moments or hours when the pain loosens some, only to have it come barreling back into your experience.
Did you know that worrying about pain lights up the same brain circuits that process pain? Thinking negatively about pain actually grows more pain.
Mindfulness practices give you the ability to reduce suffering and even decrease pain – by changing your relationship with it.
Here are two exercises to try:
- Turn your attention to the area of pain and notice if your body is ‘bracing’ against it. Take a few deep breaths and see if you can soften the area right around the pain even just a bit.
- Imagine inhaling a color that can soothe your pain and exhaling a color that represents your pain. Repeat 5x.
Turning my attention toward my migraine pain with kindness and softening around it was revolutionary! In the first week, I was able to stop three migraines from progressing. Suffering from migraines for 18 years, I never expected something so simple could have such profound results. J.C., ABQ
Managing Chronic Pain with Mindfulness
2/22-3/15/19, 10 am-12 noon OR
3/16-4/6/19, 10 am-12 noon
4-week class: learn mindfulness skills to modulate pain and reduce the impact of thoughts, emotions, trauma and stress on your pain experience.
10% savings when you register 2 weeks (or more) before class begins. Discounts for seniors, military, and students. CEU’s available!