Written by:

Updated on:

January 18, 2016
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No matter who we are, pain is a difficult experience. It is one of those experiences that is shared by all of humanity. Oftentimes when we experience pain, we aren’t quite sure what to do with it. Traditional means of managing pain are often ineffective or temporary, and so many of us turn towards something else: that is, mindfulness.

Mindfulness for pain management is a growing area of interest for many, for both those who experience pain and those who study it. Mindfulness and pain are certainly connected. Through exploring the former, we help to relieve the latter.

Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Relief

This worksheet is a guided exercise that invites us through a visualization to help lessen the experience of pain. Following the meditation, we are invited to reflect upon how visualization might support us in alleviating difficult feelings and sensations. When practicing, it is important to cultivate patience and compassion as these energies will help to soften some of the tension or resistance we may be feeling.

Visualization is the tool used in this practice. It is one of many mindfulness for pain management techniques. Additional mindfulness exercises for pain include body scans and progressive muscle relaxation. 

How Mindfulness Can Help with Chronic Pain

The relationship between mindfulness and pain is not imagined. Research has looked into how mindfulness can indeed be an effective tool in reducing the pain that we perceive. Some of the ways that mindfulness can help to reduce painful sensations (or our perception of them) include:

  • Shifting our focus towards another object or experience
  • Interfering with the stress-pain cycle
  • Increasing emotional regulation
  • Reducing tension in muscles
  • Increasing a sense of agency and control

For more information on how mindfulness can help to ease chronic pain, check out this blog post. You might also enjoy this script on how we can make room for pain and discomfort in our lives.

About the author 

Sean Fargo

Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]