Mindfulness practitioners offer the insight that resisting our pain often deepens our pain.
What can manifest when we resist our pain? When we attempt to cripple our awareness and pain, the inner wisdom will reliably refuse to back down. So, inner wisdom shows itself in a crippled fashion, perhaps in the guise of panic attacks, physical malady, sleep disturbance, rage, dissociative behavior, crisis, abusive self-medicating or other insults to the body, mind and spirit. The mind can become tormented – as the Buddhists characterize it – the “monkey mind.”
I should say that I am not a specialist. I am a peer who used these techniques to good effect early on, and they reliably aid me today. Remember: It is best to leave judgment behind – there is no “right” way to be mindful. Also, if you have a medical history with complications of mobility or breathing, consult a physician first.
1. Color Mindfulness Walk
A 5-minute walk – preferably out of doors and slowly. Before you start, stand in place and feel your feet both firmly planted on the ground. Raise your chest and pull your shoulders back to open your posture. As you start to walk, think of your breath as your “home base.” Be aware of air coming in and going out. As you walk, look around you for primary colors. Locate green, red, blue and yellow. Thank each thing you see for hosting this color. Conclude your walk by noticing your breath.
2. Counting Sensations in Threes
For 5 minutes – listen for 3 sounds, look for 3 things, try to observe 3 smells, touch 3 textures and if you can, taste 3 tastes around you. This will bring you into a present state of attention. Thank each thing you see, touch, smell, taste and hear for hosting this element.
3. Breath Work
This technique is from the discipline of Tai Chi. Sit with both feet firmly planted on the ground and in an upright and alert position that is comfortable. Take 3 short inhales, let go of 1 long exhale. Repeat this sequence five times.
Try any of these exercises to start. As well, look for other people – individuals or a mindfulness community – to support you in your practice.
Kim Go 2011
“Mindfulness practitioners offer the insight that resisting our pain often deepens our pain.”
I noticed this right away when my son died. So I stopped resisting my grief, & let it wash over me as it comes, in waves. I let it go as it passes. It will be back soon enough. Once I started to do this, and once I started practicing mindfulness and gratitude, the pain did not block out my good memories as much. Thanks for sharing these techniques.
Your list resonated with me. After my daughter died from the injuries she received in a car crash, I made a conscious decision to go with pain, not resist it. Looking back now, I realize this saved me time. I also found comfort in nature.. Diaphragm breathing can also help to lower blood pressure and calm the spirit. But it’s journaling that helped me most.
On the a.m. of Jan. 7, 2011 my husband and I received the horrible news that my daughter had died. Several hours later we we told the cause of death was likely heroine overdose. It was soooo shocking–she had been with a young man for about a year and a half who “she” was trying to help stay away from such horrible things, but some how or another, she must ahve convinced herself that this drug wasn’t as dangerous as she had thought. We don’t know how long she had been using it–the coroner told us she believed she was a new user, but she was a tiny little person, just barely a hundred pounds, and so that was the end, and now I just feel so sad, so very, very sad–I look at pictures of her and can’t believe this is real, although I know it is because I kissed her good bye while she lay in her casket. I believe I have a strong faith and that there is somehow a plan that God has in all of this. I feel like I’m seeing some of His plan unfold, but I find myself struggling with tyring to be forgiving and understanding, trying not to be angry and then feeling justified that I should be allowed to. It’a all just soo awful. I’m sitting at work, knowing I shold be working and not surfing the net, but I needed to see if there was some place I could see how other people are copoing with a similar experience. I won’t tell you that your stories make me feel better, they actually make me feel just as sad that you have had to feel this kind of pain, but they have made me feel less alone, less isolated. Thank you for having the strenght to share through your pain. God Bless You.
I am glad that you are all here on the website – it is such a great place to find compassion, strength and community. I am glad that we have all found each other. I know that by sharing the searing pain of our losses that we can find love from those who understand and will walk with us though the dark and light of our future days,
I am so sorry for your loss. It is so recent. I lost my dear 17-year old son on the 24 Nov 2010, so I share your pain. There is a forum I go to that I find really comforting. It is https://www.aimoo.com/notice/noforum_forumforgrievingparents. Pls try it and see if it works for you. Be gentle with yourself
To Jean, I too just found out my daughter died of a heroin overdose on February 1, 2006.
I relinquished my daughter to adoption in June of 1979. She and her mom contacted the adoption agency in 2001 & 2003, looking for her family. I was told this in August 0f 2010 when I began my search for my daughter. I spent years wondering when I had the courage to search for her. On February 9, 2010, the post adoption director visited my home and told me that my Jackie had died 5 years ago. I am still in shock and will be dealing with this for years to come. I will also get to speak to her parents and hopefully meet them at some point as I need to thank them for raising such a beautiful daughter. I know she was so hurting inside as we all were. Jackie has finally brought us together, for we have been hurting for too long, now is the time to heal.
Jackie you will be loved for ever, my daughter, my only daughter.
jean, on January 19, 2011 at 8:10 am3.On the a.m. of Jan. 7, 2011 my husband and I received the horrible news that my daughter had died. Several hours later we we told the cause of death was likely heroine overdose.