How can Mindfulness help me?
Mindfulness has been shown to help manage both physical and emotional difficulties.
Research has shown the benefit for patients with stress, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, IBS, fibromyalgia, headache/migraine, cardiovascular disease, MS, type 2 diabetes and to help improve the immune system.
Grossman et al. (2004) suggest that becoming adept at mindfulness may result in “enhanced emotional processing and coping regarding the effects of chronic illness and stress, improved self-efficancy and control, and a more differentiated picture of wellness in which stress and ailments play natural roles but still allow enjoyment of life as full and rich.”
Kabat-Zinn (1982) suggests that repeated exposure to the sensations of pain with an attitude of awareness and non-judgement may lead to a reduction in the emotional responses elicited by pain sensations. Teasdale (1999) and Teasdale et al. (1995) have proposed that a non- judgemental, decentred view of thought processes may interfere with the ruminative patterns of thoughts so improving mood. Baer (2003) notes that a number of authors suggest that improved self-observation, learned from mindfulness practice, may promote the use of a range of coping skills – as a person develops improved observation and recognition of cues that would previously lead to maladaptive responses (for example, continued avoidance of activity in chronic pain patients leading to deterioration in fitness and stamina), then their potential for not yielding to these cues is enhanced and their repertoire of responses is enlarged.
Burch (2008) describes the value of using mindfulness to live with chronic pain based on personal experience of both chronic pain and long standing mindfulness practice. She defines mindfulness as: ‘Live in the moment, notice what is happening and make choices in how you respond to your experience rather than being driven by habitual reactions’. She also describes how mindful awareness enables the individual to develop an accurate perception of unpleasant stimuli as they arise and pass away, rather than being locked into aversion towards the perceived solid ‘enemy’ of the pain. The individual can then discern two aspects to their experience of pain: primary suffering which is the unpleasant sensations, and secondary suffering which is the mental, emotional and physical reactions to these unpleasant sensations. Mindfulness provides skills to accept the primary suffering and reduce, or even eradicate, the secondary suffering leading to an often marked improvement in quality of life and reduction in overall pain experience.
We can help you with:
- Chronic Pain
- Type 2 diabetes