3-Minute Mindful Meditation
Updated: May 28, 2020
Our brains are shaped by what we pay attention to. This is neuroplasticity in action. Because physical pain is so distressing, it captures and holds our attention and makes us think and worry about it constantly. Unfortunately, this can strengthen pain pathways in the brain, wiring our brains to be more sensitive to pain. But there is a powerful way to rewire our brains, and this is mindfulness. A simple definition of mindfulness that highlights this point is from Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.
Watch this 4-minute video, which will lead you through a mindfulness practice by Julia Gerlitz. It will use your senses to focus your attention on the present moment rather than on your pain.
"Mindfulness is paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally."
What if you intentionally shift your attention to something other than your pain even just a few times today? What if you spent 5 minutes listening to the sounds of nature around you, or noticing in real detail what the room looks like that you are laying or sitting in? What if you focused your attention solely on the child playing near you or the pet lying by your side? What if you put on some music and listened intently, mindfully, to every note and every instrumental sound? Try focusing your attention on what you see, hear, or feel to mindfully notice something other than pain today. By doing this a thousand times over and over, you will rewire your brain to be less sensitive to pain, effectively reducing your pain over time.