Learning! Ease Chronic Illness Pain with Mindful Meditation
People talk a lot about the benefits of meditation, and every once and a while an actual study comes out to prove some of those benefits. It's nice, because anything that's not a pill is often met with suspicion from the general public, even if it is totally rational.
This latest study shows that mindful meditation (the practice of non-judgmentally observing your state and being present) can actually help reduce some of the pain and discomfort that goes along with chronic illness. It also helped participants get a better night's sleep (helpful) and have a more positive outlook towards their future (helpful).
One of the key reasons for this effect seems likely to be the fact that mindfulness meditation focuses on experiencing the present without judgement and observing your emotional states and thoughts without getting wrapped up in them. So, for example, instead of trying to stop thinking about their pain or possible poor outcome, meditators (is that what we call people who meditate?) have redirected their minds to something else entirely.
It also promotes acceptance of circumstances, which will obviously reduce stress quite a lot.