I wanted to take a few moments to discuss something I feel maybe very helpful in dealing with everyday pain and stress especially when injured on the job.
If you’re looking to relieve pain – try meditation. People all over the world have recognized the benefits of meditation for thousands of years.
And recent studies show even brief training in meditation can help ease pain.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte researchers found that
students who received a single hour of mindfulness training over three days significantly reduced their awareness and sensitivity to pain. Other studies show that meditation is particularly helpful to people who suffer from chronic back pain, fibromyalgia and migraines. Here’s how you can get started:
- Understand that most types of meditation have four elements in common: 1) a quiet location, 2) a specific and comfortable posture,
3) a focus of attention, and 4) an open attitude.
- Try this 3-minute exercise called A.C.E. recommended by Psychologist Elisha Goldstein, PhD. Do it several times a day:
- Awareness. Spend 60 seconds becoming aware of what is happening right now in your thoughts and emotions.
- Collecting. Spend another 60 seconds collecting your attention on your breathing. Notice where you are breathing most prominently ─ your nose, chest or belly.
- Expanding. Spend another 60 seconds expanding your awareness into your physical body and noticing sensations like tingling, warmth, pain and coolness at specific sites.
- Practice. Dr. Robert Bonakdar from the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine says the idea is to relax your body and become aware of your pain without judging it or fixating on it. Instead of running away from pain, come to terms with it. The reduced tension helps ease pain.
- Educate yourself. You can buy books and tapes on all kinds of meditation techniques (mindfulness meditation, mantra meditation, relaxation response, guided imagery etc.) or seek out information on the internet. Try different techniques to see which one best suits you. If you have chronic pain, you might consider taking formal training.