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Rx: Mindfulness for Pain

According to Dr. Mauro Zappaterra, pain management specialist, mindfulness is an excellent technique for decreasing pain. Start by identifying what triggers your pain. Are there any specific activities, thoughts, actions or beliefs that make you feel an increase in your pain? Has there been an increase in stress in your life? Have emotions such as fear and anger become more common? 

One of the most important things you can do to decrease your overall pain, or stop it spiking, is to learn how to cope with stress and to release your emotions and not store them.

Instead of fighting or ignoring your pain, be aware of its highs and lows. When it increases, take note of the first thought that arises in your mind. Many people think "Time to take a pill: or, "There's something wrong with me," or "I hate this pain and it's never going away." Write down your first thought. This s what you want to change.

Your thoughts form a road. The more times we have a certain thought, the bigger and stronger that road becomes. It's time to create a new road. With the help of minfulness and meditation, along with other forms of art, you can start training your brain to have the thoughts that you want it to have.

Let's take an example. If your first thought is "I hate this pain and it's never going away," practicing gratitude or acceptance will help. See if you can change your thought to something like "I feel blessed to be alive," or "I feel grateful that I have eyes to see this beautiful world," or "I feel grateful for the love in my life."

What are you grateful for?