Friday, November 12, 2010

Crazy Making Pain: Mindfully Battling It


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How in the world can we explain how crazy making it can be to have the truly brutal pain of a migraine in your head? The experience of pain is always intense, but something about having it focused right where your brain is trying to do all its processing is overwhelming to the mind.

My mind starts to feel like it's folding in on itself and collapsing from pain.  Those are the moments where I have to snap myself back to attention through mindfulness. Almost yell at myself and stop that whole line of thinking and turn it in an entirely different direction. The kind of desperate thoughts that seem to naturally flow from focusing on such excruciating pain cannot go on unchecked.

Giving in to the tendency to focus exclusively on my head pain really does make it worse.  I believe in doing everything in life with mindful attention to the task at hand. But I do not believe it does any good to sit with my pain and say, "It hurts, it hurts, oh my god, it hurts." Focusing on my breathing helps. Watching a funny movie helps. Petting my dog or my cat helps. Doing each of these things while focusing my attention exclusively on that moment helps.

How do you battle the crazy making nature of head pain?

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.