Pain disrupts our sleep, and a lack of sleep increases our pain. It’s a vicious circle. If you have chronic pain, you may be nodding drowsily. While there may not be an immediate solution to your pain, you can partly manage it by managing your sleep.
If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from chronic pain, mindfulness may provide some relief. Mindfulness in the broadest sense is the practice of focusing on the present moment as a way to reduce stress and pain. Sounds simple, right? For most people, mindfulness actually takes practice. But the benefits can be significant, especially for people with debilitating pain.
I can’t exercise because I hurt too much. Is this something you have said or heard from someone who suffers from chronic pain? Fact: If you do not exercise, you will hurt more.
Why do you continue to have pain long after whatever caused the pain is gone? The answer is that the pain has changed parts of your brain. These altered parts continue to send messages, prolonging the agony. And some parts of your brain, such as the hypothalamus, may have shrunk and no longer work as well.