Can Mindfulness Meditation Really Reduce Pain and Suffering?

You're reading Can Mindfulness Meditation Really Reduce Pain and Suffering?, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles. There are many scientifically-validated claims about meditation's myriad benefits, but can it actually reduce chronic pain? One study demonstrated a significant decrease in chronic pain-related suffering from 10 weeks of mindfulness meditation. Another study found that meditation improves pain tolerance by 57%. How is this possible? To make sense of these results, it helps to know the difference between pain and suffering. Pain vs. Suffering Japanese writer Haruki Murakami famously wrote, "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional." Many people don't realize the key difference between pain and suffering. While pain is the physically uncomfortable stimulus, like a pinch on the arm, suffering is our emotional reaction to that pain. Neuroscience has shown us recently that most of our suffering is caused by our response to pain, both anticipating its continuation and replaying its memory, rather than the actual present-moment experience of the pain itself. The brain receives a signal from the pinch and then creates a whole story about that signal that causes us to suffer. But what if we could train ourselves to perceive the signal without layering on such a dramatic interpretation of it? It turns out that this is possi...
Source: PickTheBrain | Motivation and Self Improvement - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: featured health and fitness psychology self improvement meditation pain Source Type: blogs

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