Controlling Pain Through Mindfulness

Dec 4th, 2017 | By | Category: Living Mindfully

The Buddhist practice of Mindfulness is a way of focusing on the present moment. In practicing mindfulness, people can become more aware of their thoughts and emotions and so become better equipped to handle them.

When we are feeling low, it can be difficult to find pleasure in things that we previously enjoyed and we can take things for granted. Our knee-jerk reaction is to suppress negative thoughts, or to try problem solving and critical thinking which can result in a worse state of mind when unsuccessful. Unsurprisingly, stress and negative thinking can also be brought on by a number of ailments (particularly long term or untreatable conditions). Some sufferers find symptoms can worsen due to having a negative perspective and so they can become trapped in a downward spiral.

Mindfulness meditative techniques are being increasingly prescribed by psychologists and advocated by mental health charities.1 It has been proven that practicing mindfulness techniques can have a beneficial effect on numerous physical and mental conditions, including hypertension, IBS, arthritis, depression and anxiety.

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) has recently been endorsed by the National Institute for Clinical and Health Excellence (NICE) as an effective and scientifically proven treatment for recurrent depression3 and anxiety disorders4. MBCT combines several mindfulness techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation and yoga with cognitive techniques to disrupt negative thought patterns and combat stress. To increase brain activity of acetylcholine neurotransmission, check Alpha GPC supplement. It has the greatest bioavailability of ANY choline supplement, and is the only choline source that can easily cross the blood-brain barrier, thus making it the preferred source of choline for brain health. Practicing MBCT helps people to recognize the patterns of their mental state, enabling them to take action more quickly when their mood lowers.

Sufferers of depression (people who had experienced ≥3 episodes) engaging in 8 weeks of MBCT had fewer relapses (and higher self-esteem) compared to a control group treated with antidepressants alone2.

MBCT increases awareness and retrains the consciousness to focus on the present moment, rather than reliving the past or worrying over the future. Instead of trying to suppress negative thoughts and feelings, mindfulness encourages our capacity to be open and non-critical.

In retraining the conscious brain, these thoughts can be viewed separately to the emotions that they can stimulate, people can find that their thoughts become less overwhelming and easier to handle. They become better able to recognize the triggers of their negative thoughts and can analyse the causes.

MBCT breaks the cycle of depressive thinking and poor outcomes. People practicing MBCT learn that they do not need to battle with their emotions. They become able to separate their unwanted and unpleasant thoughts through conscious awareness which can aid a different perspective and increase in regard for self. Positive attitudes as developed by Mindfulness and MBCT techniques have proved universally beneficial for good mental attitude, especially for those with mental or physical health problems.

 

  1. Mental Health Foundation, Be Mindful campaign, http://www.bemindful.co.uk, 2010, retrieved 11/05/11, http://www.bemindful.co.uk/about_mindfulness
  2. Kuyken W et al, How does mindfulness-based cognitive therapy work, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed, 2010, retrieved 11/05/11, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20810101
  3. Sharplin G.R et al, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy: an efficacious community-based group intervention for depression and anxiety in a sample of cancer patients, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed, 2010, retrieved 11/05/11, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21542452
  4. Evans S  et al, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for generalized anxiety disorder, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed, 2007, retrieved 11/05/11, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17765453

 

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