Throughout our lives, we all experience pain at one time or another. From scraped knees to broken hearts the human condition is a wide spectrum of experiences. Sometimes these sensations and experiences can get too intense and we may find ourselves searching for relief. Relief lies within the mental perception and is accessible through practicing mind over matter.
Pain Reducing Meditation Study
A study was conducted by Fadel Zeidan, Nakia S. Gordon, Junaid Merchant, and Paula Goolkasian within the Department of Psychology, at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.
The goal was to study the effect of mindfulness on experimentally induced pain. One of the studies conducted had volunteers tested in two separate sessions. The sessions were segmented with a three-day mindfulness meditation training in between.
The volunteers were taught mindfulness meditation practices that approached mindfulness as a cognitive function rather than spiritual or religious. The training sessions each were about 20 minutes long and conducted within groups.
Each of the three days the instructor taught different meditation skills such as focusing upon the breath, remaining objective while allowing thoughts to pass, and increasing awareness of sensual perceptions.
You can learn about these practices in our articles that cover them more in-depth such as this beginner breath meditation. Another article you may find benefit in is this guided meditation to increase the sensory awareness of touch.
The results showed that participants practicing mindfulness perceived less pain during stimulation. The pain ratings calculated numerically dropped from 4.4 in response to high pain compared to the baseline condition to 2.4 after meditation. The response to low pain stimulation showed a drop from 2.51 prior to the meditation training to 1.09
The study had another component focused on the volunteer’s anxiety and if mindfulness would affect participants’ anxiety levels. The results were measured with the SAI, state anxiety inventory, and found participants who were more mindful had less anxiety as well as less perceived pain.
Fadel Zeidan was excited to find through multiple studies that, “It works for beginner” where one may hold the expectation they need to be a longterm practitioner or meditation master in order to reap the health benefits.
What Is Mindfulness Meditation
Practicing meditation is like going to the gym, except you this time you are strengthening a part of your body that is always in use. Your mental perception becomes crystallized and directly impacts your mood.
Mindfulness is a meditation technique that can also be applied to the way you live and perceive things. It is based on the foundation that agrees with one of Deepak Chopra’s well-explained laws.
The law of pure potentiality states that our essence is simply pure awareness. When we return to this mindset and perspective we allow ourselves to open to the nature of the unlimited unmanifest and pure potential.
Mindfulness is about remaining objective and leaning towards the perspective of curiously watching rather than attaching judgment. You form an intentional mindfulness practice in something many of us are constantly doing… walking!
You can practice walking meditation with various techniques such as walking barefoot, walking in nature, or in a labyrinth. The focus can be placed around the bottom of your feet.
Allow your thoughts to be visitors and do not attach to them as your focus should be on the steps you are taking. Walk slowly and see how many details you can notice on one exact object of focus.
One object of focus may be on how your feet feel walking. Notice if you place your heel down first or the outer edges of your feet. How do your feet feel walking on different surfaces or with a slower walking pace? How many details can you notice without attaching a judgment?