I realised that the more pain I was in, the more I tensed up and held my breath, and that made the pain worse! Finding ways to relax really helps.
 
 
Relaxation & Mindfulness practises help me cope with the stress of living with pain. They are part of my everyday life now, though it took some practice and time to work out what suits me best.
 

Doing relaxation practises can help you reduce physical tension and to manage stress. As well as carrying out these practises when you’re feeling tense, it is a good idea to make them part of your daily routine, to help prevent the build-up of stress and tension. Click on the links below to hear our Occupational Therapist talking you through some relaxation practises  Body scan click here Three-minute breathing space click here

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to your mind, in the present moment and with self-compassion, without getting caught up in thoughts. It is not the same as relaxation, though many people do find mindfulness helpful in managing stress and tension.

 
I used to think that I needed to empty my mind in order to relax, but I’ve learned I don’t need to get caught up in the thoughts or trying to get rid of them
 

There is more and more research about how mindfulness can be helpful for people living with pain. For a sense of what mindfulness can ‘look like’ when you have long term pain click here Mindfulness without meditation click here