WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
Mindfulness is paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment without judgment. It is the practice of intentionally focusing one's attention on the present and being fully engaged in whatever is happening, without being distracted by thoughts, emotions, or other stimuli.
Mindfulness practice typically involves focusing your attention on a particular object or sensation, such as the breath, a sound, or a bodily sensation, and bringing your mind back to the present moment whenever it wanders. It involves having self-compassion, accepting whatever arises in the present moment without trying to change or fix it.
Mindfulness is rooted in ancient meditation traditions, but in recent years it has been widely accepted by western medical science as an effective strategy to relieve pain, decrease emotional distress and improve general health and well being.
It takes practice, but it is a skill you can learn!
WHAT KIND OF MINDFULNESS CAN I PRACTICE?
Individual mindfulness meditation
Guided mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness-based stress reduction
Mindfulness based cognitive therapy
Other interdisciplinary therapies
such as DBT/ACT
HOW DOES MINDFULNESS HELP FOR MY PAIN?
There are various ways in which mindfulness is helpful for people living with chronic pain, and brain scans tell us that regular mindfulness resets certain areas of the brain that become over-active when you have pain.
Mindfulness can reduce pain intensity.
Mindfulness reduces suffering associated with chronic pain.
Mindfulness can help 'unstick' the fight or flight response, reducing stress and lowering the level of stress hormones in the blood.
Activates the parasympathetic nervous system (the part of the nervous system that is responsible for rest and recovery)
Improves mental health by reducing anxiety and improving mood, giving a sense of well-being and positivity, and improving resilience
Reduces fear, negative behaviours and gives back control, improving
quality of life and engagement in activity.
Mindfulness improves movement control and participation in physical activities.
Improves self-esteem, self confidence and self-efficacy.
Mindfulness has no negative side-effects and benefits are maintained for up to 3 years!
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A MINDFULNESS SESSION?
Mindfulness can be done with a therapist, face-to-face, or online. Once you know what you want to do and how to do it, you can practice mindfulness anywhere!
Mindfulness can be done individually or in groups.
You may be asked to sit comfortably, lie down or do gentle movements.
You might be asked to visualise certain things in your mind and be guided through breathing exercises.