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How to think yourself pain free

"You are not your thoughts. Your thoughts are merely passing clouds in the sky of the mind".

However your thoughts do influence your health, happiness and your experience of suffering.

This also means you have the power to improve your health and happiness through the power of thought.

We can do this by focusing on feelings of goodwill and positive emotions towards ourselves and others.

I want to be very clear...this is not about suppressing feelings or emotions, "spiritual bypassing" or self delusion.

This is a process of daily intention, directing your focus and cultivating self-compassion and resilience. We know that there is a psychological component to pain, as you can read about here.

Maitri (Metta) meditation or Loving kindness meditation is a Buddhist practice that has been used for centuries to generate feeling of loving-kindness and unconditional friendliness towards oneself.

In 2005 an 8 week loving kindness meditation program for low back pain showed significant improvements in pain and psychological distress in the participants compared to the control group.

One of the really key things to remember here is that Buddhist believe that our individual happiness and health is linked to the health and happiness of others. Therefore as we develop our practice of loving kindness towards ourselves we are also sending our intention of loving kindness towards others.

Sometimes it is easier to wish others well, but how good are you at sending those good intentions towards yourself? The feeling you generate as you think about sending loving-kindness towards others can be used to experience those feelings radiate towards yourself.

Try it for yourself, begin by thinking of someone you care for dearly...

May you be free of physical pain and suffering.

May you healthy and strong.

May you able to live happily, peacefully, joyfully and with ease.

Send those same intentions out into the world...

May all beings be free of physical pain and suffering.

May all beings healthy and strong.

May all beings able to live happily, peacefully, joyfully and with ease.

And then send those same loving intentions towards yourself...

May I be free of physical pain and suffering.

May I be healthy and strong.

May I be able to live happily, peacefully, joyfully and with ease.

Repetition is key, as well as noticing when you aren’t being so kind to yourself. You can recite aloud or silently any of these intentions as necessary throughout your day.

It’s a really powerful practice for breaking the cycle of negative thoughts, catastrophising and fear that can arise when we experience chronic pain.


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