How can Focusing help with physical pain

Why would we want to focus more on our pain? Read on…

Jackie writes:

How can Focusing help with constant physical pain? When in pain I find it easier to cope by not focusing on it.

Dear Jackie:

 know what you mean. Constant physical pain is very hard, and it can be important to find ways of not focusing on the pain.

One friend with chronic pain told me the only time she could forget her pain was when doing art. And having those times when she could forget the pain was really important for her.

However, she also told me that she takes time every day to relate to her body, to the place in her body in pain. If we always distract ourselves from pain, then we are effectively cutting off the life in that part of the body, and that isn’t good either.

Here’s a simple exercise for relating to the part of you in pain:

  1. Take some time to get quiet and feel supported by what you’re sitting on
  2. From your whole self, bring awareness to the part of your body that is in pain
  3. Allow the word “pain” to float away for a while, and feel the sensation freshly, as if you had never felt it before
  4. Find new words and images to describe it
  5. Say to it, “Yes, I really sense that is how you feel.”

It can be very important to sense freshly, not to assume it will always feel the same. You can also use Focusing to ask your pain what it needs.

I actually have a whole course on this by video that can be started any time.

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