Mindfulness for Pain



Meeting Pain With


Elizabeth Maher


* What is mindfulness

* How can it be used for chronic pain

* Practise mindfulness exercises

* www.nz-act-training.com


Emotions lifestyle



* physical

* Judgements

* Negative thoughts about the pain and ourselves

* Anxious thoughts

* Depressed thinking

* Brainstorming ways to soothe the pain

* Scouring for solutions

* www.nz-act-training.com

* Anxiety

* Despair

* Anger

* frustration www.nz-act-training.com


* Tense up

* Lie down

* Rest

* Move/keep still www.nz-act-training.com


* Reduce activity

* Reduce going out

* Reduce spending time with others

* www.nz-act-training.com

* Kabat-Zinn MBSR programme 1979

* Originally created to help those experiencing chronic pain


Now also those experiencing stress, anxiety, chronic health conditions

* www.nz-act-training.com



Pay attention

With openness and nonjudgement


In this moment to my experience

* moment-to-moment, non-judgemental awareness. It is cultivated by refining our capacity to pay attention, intentionally, in the present moment, and then sustaining that attention over time as best we can. In the process, we become more in touch with our life as it is unfolding.’

Myla & Jon Kabat-Zinn, Everyday Blessings; The inner work of mindful parenting’, pg 24

* www.nz-act-training.com

* Awareness & thinking are different capacities

* learning to relate to our pain differently

* curious about the intensity of our pain

* let go of goals and expectations

* engage with the pain just as it is

* Healing in awareness

* More accurate perception of pain

* Make room for distressing emotions

* Disentangle from unhelpful thoughts

* www.nz-act-training.com

* Mindful breathing

* Body scan

* Leaves on a stream

* www.nz-act-training.com


Pain that comes out and presents itself

* chronic pain

* uninvited/unwanted bodily sensations


Distressing emotions


Life adjustments/changes/events



* www.nz-act-training.com

* You used to live a life that you loved…now your life is devoted to trying to keep the pain at bay


Putting life on hold


Disconnection from life

* www.nz-act-training.com



Pain mindscripts

Values disconnect



* awareness

• Present moment experience

Make room

• Make room for feelings (emotions and bodily sensations) defusion

• Notice thoughts/mind script without getting entangled


F eel it


L et it Be

* Ex pand awareness (make room for it)

* Ex ecute (choose workable response)

* www.nz-act-training.com