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Can Mindfulness & Gratitude Practices Reduce Physical Pain? Studies Say Yes.

Some believe mindfulness is a technique for relaxation. Although practice can lead to greater ease and comfort, the intention of practice is to become intimate with your experience as it is, including positive, neutral, and negative experiences.

Physical pain likely registers for us as a negative experience, so why would we want to become more familiar with our discomfort?

Did you know that the most attended mindfulness training, the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, was created for patients dealing with chronic pain and illness?

For more than four decades, mindfulness practitioners who “turn towards” pain have reported lowered intensity and increased coping with pain. Recent studies also show people who score high on gratitude experience less toxic thoughts and emotions about their pain, lowering their perception and experience of discomfort.


What Research Tells Us

This study suggests that mindfulness and gratitude do indeed help in the self-management of arthritis.

Mindfulness and gratitude in themselves are not cures for health challenges. However, they can help the individual find it easier to accept what may be happening in the body, and through acceptance, the body can reach a level of reduced pain and discomfort. Mindfulness is not about escaping or getting rid of a feeling, but it is about realizing the present circumstances and letting go instead of attaching to them.

When you embark on a lifestyle rooted in mindfulness, you can acknowledge the negatives and work through them.

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