Mindfulness and its close sibling, meditation, have been shown by research, particularly Jon-Kabat Zinn’s work, to truly help and make a difference in the quality of the lives for those with Chronic Pain.
But getting started with a meditation practice can be a challenge, especially for those with Chronic Pain. When you live in constant pain, by definition your mind is busy, busy constantly sending you the message of pain. How in the world do we quiet that level of mental disturbance down?
Forget “monkey mind”! Living in Chronic Pain is more like living with Gorilla mind.
In any event, where to start?
Guided meditation (having another walk- aka talk you, and too, encourage and even time you through the process) may be the most ideal form of meditation for Chronic Pain sufferers. It’s definitely a great place to start.
Like with other aspects of our lives, technology can make all aspects of starting and supporting a meditation practice easier. Three easy to use apps, with different styles and offering different types of meditations, are:
- Calm– this site offers a vast number of different guided meditations to address all manner of meditation purposes and goals from body scans to loving kindness to commuting as well as simple straight-forward timed meditations and all to a wide number of different pleasing images and soundtracks, mostly based in nature.
- Headspace– a direct, easy to use site, created by a Buddhist monk, that includes informative, short, animated You-tube clips to help you learn the basics. After that there are many guided meditations to chose from, from travel and on-the-go meditations to those to help with sleep or frustration as well as the basic timed meditation.
- Centering Prayer- a Christian form of prayer that has deep connections with meditation. This app allows you to customize your prayer practice with opening and closing prayers or biblical readings and bells, chimes, etc. A clean, direct approach to establishing a centering prayer practice.