This piece by Elizabeth Landau on CNN.com [the full link appears below this post] is a beautiful account of how mindfulness can change the shape of both physical and emotional pain.
Back pain is the type of pain that I see and work with most frequently in my events and classes.
When a person is experiencing pain--or is accustomed to feeling pain--the mind runs amok with negative thinking. Whether it be anxiety, depression, blame, shame, or the anger that Monty Reed (in Landau's piece) describes, those negative emotions actually cause pain to increase or intensify. Judging yourself for having a particular feeling or emotion, or believing you are victimized and disempowered, can cause anyone's back to hurt!
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