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Mindfulness For Pain And Negativity: Does It Work?

Date : Mar 04, 2020

Author : DR A Zayed

Pain is a major problem around the world. The presence of pain can cause a person to experience a reduction in their day-to-day abilities. Pain causes complications with both the physical and mental capabilities of a person. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that an estimated 20.4% of adults in the United States experience chronic pain. High-impact chronic pain affects about 8% of the adult population in the country.

Mindfulness could be a strategy that may help a person experience an improvement in pain symptoms. Additionally, practicing mindfulness techniques could be useful for the psychological problems that people sometimes experience when they suffer chronic pain symptoms.

woman meditating outdoors with eyes closed,

woman meditating outdoors with eyes closed,

The Impact Of Pain

Pain is not considered a condition itself. Instead, it is generally a symptom related to an underlying condition. Unfortunately, many of these conditions are difficult to treat, often causing a person to turn to pharmaceutical painkiller to control the pain. These drugs can cause negative effects on the body.

Pain does not only have a physical effect on a person’s body. Researchers have found that pain has a connection to depression. Patients who suffer chronic pain are at risk of developing depression. This can cause a negative mood and a general negative outlook on life. The psychological complications are generally related to the suffering that people often go through when they experience chronic pain conditions.

How Mindfulness Might Help

Treatment for pain is often thought of as both effective and harmful at the same time. The pharmaceutical drugs available sometimes does help to reduce the pain experienced by a person. On the other hand, they also come with some side-effects. Long-term use of certain drugs can cause dependency problems and even interfere with liver-related problems.

Many people are turning to alternative options to help them take control of pain without exposing their bodies to the chemicals found in these pharmaceutical drugs. This is where mindfulness comes into the picture.

Case study

It has been found that even a brief session of mindfulness might also be helpful in the management of pain. Another major benefit that comes with mindfulness is the fact that many people are able to reduce the psychological effects of pain too.

One study in the Journal of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience provides evidence of the beneficial effects that mindfulness may have on patients who suffer from chronic pain. The study introduced mindfulness to patients who complained about experiencing chronic pain. Patients were divided into groups, with each group receiving a specific set of potential treatments. The results between the groups were compared to each other. This allowed researchers to see how effective mindfulness is. It also helped compare mindfulness to other strategies that may help relieve pain.

It was found that mindfulness and mindful awareness are both highly effective in people with chronic pain. Levels of self-reported chronic pain reduced significantly among the group who were provided with an introduction to mindfulness techniques. Furthermore, there were improvements in the mental health of these participants too. It was found that the negative emotions that people often experience in the presence of chronic pain were significantly improved too. This provided evidence that mindfulness may be beneficial for both the physical and emotional effects of certain chronic pain conditions.

Conclusion

Pain is a common issue that affects millions of people. When pain becomes chronic, it can cause a person to feel negative and suffer. This can also lead to other mental complications and affect a person’s physical abilities. Mindfulness is a technique that could assist with the negative emotions that come with chronic pain. Additionally, certain mindfulness techniques may also be helpful in alleviating pain symptoms in some cases.

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