Pain is regulated by our nervous system. Our brain alerts us of the pain we feel and it strives to maintain balance in the body. Stress disrupts the brain’s ability to deal with pain signals. Dr. Steven Stanos, medical director of the Center for Pain Management at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, stated, “The brain is always trying to inhibit pain signals. But if you're stressed, simply put, the brain's ability to filter these pain signals is affected in a bad way and pain can be increased.” Research shows that even the process of thinking about something stressful immediately causes increased tension in the back muscles. This tension aggravates any underlying conditions of pain that you may have.
Mindfulness significantly reduces stress levels, anxiety, and feelings of depression. Researchers conducted a study in which participants were placed in an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction group. When participants finished this training, scans revealed that in troubling situations they had less neural activity and responses, meaning that there wasn’t a large release of stress hormones. Researchers concluded that mindfulness teaches strategies to help the brain regulate and react to an emotional situation with less stress, thus helping to decrease pain levels.
However, some individuals are turned off at the thought of mindfulness because it doesn't seem suited for them.
But what if I told you, to practice mindfulness, you don't have to chant a mantra or imagine yourself somewhere else?
The word mindfulness simply means to practice focusing on the present. It is meant for you to give the present moment your active, devoted attention to observe your thoughts and feelings. The goal is to try not to declare whether these thoughts or feelings are good or bad. You just focus on what is around you and what you are doing.
If this is what mindfulness means then you can begin taking little moments throughout your day to breathe and focus on what you are doing. In this moment, don’t let your mind wander to thoughts of work, or what you will be doing next, or what you wish you weren’t doing at the moment. Just take the time to live and ponder about how you feel and show yourself compassion and understanding.
Here are some tips to begin naturally including mindfulness practice into your day:
- Fully engage your senses. Pay attention to sight, touch, smell, taste, and sound and savor every sensation.
- Try doing things that you love and practice taking in the moment. If you are doing something that you already enjoy then it should be easy to focus.
- During your practice, resist judging the thoughts you have with resentment, regret, or anger.
- During the day, let your mind fully appreciate what you are doing. Allow yourself to take in the moment and be fully present with the activity you are doing. If you’re cooking, just let yourself cook. When you are eating, just eat and enjoy the flavors of your food; don’t let your mind wander to your feelings. While walking to your car, listen to nature’s sounds, feel the weather, and take in the colors and view around you.
- Try to not let your emotions take over your thoughts.
- If your mind wanders, just recognize it and return your thoughts to being fully absorbed in what you are doing.
Related: How Positive Thinking Reduces Pain
Check out our blog to learn a multitude of ways to start relieving your pain naturally!
At Real Time Pain Relief, we not only care about the quality ingredients that go into each and every one of our products – but also about the people who buy them. We hope this blog, and the articles posted on it, become a valued resource for your own personal journey to better health. We know natural products that reduce your pain at the source are important to you, and for more than 17 years, our Real Time Pain Relief rub-on has been providing targeted pain relief with natural ingredients to thousands of satisfied customers. From the useful information on this blog to our high-quality natural products, we hope you become one of the thousands of customers telling us they “Enjoy Living Again!”
Sources for this post:
- What Are The Benefits of Mindfulness: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner.aspx
- Eliminating Stress Brings Pain Relief: http://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management/stress-and-pain.aspx